Freshman school supply list must now include clickers

Chris Clevenger

Devices to improve learning experience

The freshman class has become a test group for the university with the requirement to buy $45 response cards, commonly known as classroom clickers.

Jeffrey Pellegrino, assistant director for the Faculty Professional Development Center, said the requirement to buy clickers is in line with goals for the First Year Experience course. One goal is to become familiar with services and technologies offered on campus.

“Essentially, there is some really good scholarship behind the use of clickers for engaged learning,” Pellegrino said. “When people have started using them creatively and thoughtfully, they actually increase learning in the classroom.”

Ideally, the clickers would improve the interaction between students in the classroom. Provost Robert Frank said this can enhance the learning process.

“Clickers facilitate student learning by improving the engagement of students in the class,” Frank wrote in an e-mail. “Clickers also allow students to practice responding to questions on course material which facilitates learning.”

Even so, some students disagree with the effectiveness of the device. Multiple students said they haven’t used their clickers since the Convocation ceremony.

“I really can’t stand the clickers and find it ridiculous we had to buy them because, simply, none of my teachers are even using them,” said Matthew Cola, freshman broadcast journalism major.

Pellegrino said the university plans to keep using the clickers, but students may be able to use their laptops, iPods and cell phones as response devices in the future.

While some see the clickers as a pointless piece of plastic, Pellegrino believes they can become more than that.

“Engagement, insight, responsibility and knowledge . that’s the foundation for the Kent Core (new LER system). The clickers are a manifestation of that,” he said. “You’re going to say ‘Dude, it’s a piece of plastic.’ You’re exactly right, that’s what it is.

“But, in the hands of a skilled faculty member, it becomes a tool, a gateway to each of those areas. “

Contact news correspondent Chris Clevenger at [email protected].