Investigating the Correlation Between Clicker Usage and Learning Gains in University Mathematics: The Influence of Metacognitive Growth

Investigating the Correlation Between Clicker Usage and Learning Gains in University Mathematics: The Influence of Metacognitive Growth

Samuel Olugbenga King (Coventry University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2218-8.ch011
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Abstract

The first section of this chapter focuses on a review of the literature on the correlation between the use of interactive polling and student learning gains. In the second section, recent research models on pedagogically effective clicker usage are then extended, conceptually, through the application of the Conversational Framework, and in a specific disciplinary context, university mathematics, so as to illuminate the influence of teacher or instructor's practice, and learner's practice, on associated student learning outcomes. Specifically, there is an illustration of how what instructors know and do (Teacher's Ideas and Practice), and what students know and do (Learner's Ideas and Practice), need to undergo iterative adaptive change and practice (Metacognitive Growth), in response to learner needs and the demand of the instructional environment, for there to be corresponding increases in student learning gains.
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Introduction

This article will focus on the use of interactive polling technologies, such as clickers and web-based polls (e.g., Byrne-Davis et al., 2015; Habel & Stubbs, 2014; Han & Finkelstein, 2013; Stover, Noel, McNutt & Heilmann., 2015; Voelkel & Bennett, 2014) for assessment in undergraduate education, in line with the recommendation about a need for a critical exploration of assessment feedback in higher education (Evans, 2013; see also Keppell, Suddaby & Hard, 2015), so as to critically evaluate the provision of assessment feedback to bridge “the gap between the actual level of performance and the desired learning goal” (p. 71). Hence this Chapter will focus on the feedback gap to identify why assessment feedback, as provided by the pedagogically aligned use (e.g., Beatty, Leonard, Gerace & Dufresne, 2006; Clark, 1994) of interactive polling tools to address target learning outcomes, does not often produce significant student learning gains (e.g., Brady, Seli & Rosenthal, 2013; Groveman, 2008; Johnson & Robson, 2008; Nguyen & McDaniel, 2015; Socol, 2008). The article is therefore structured so that the “feedback gap will be explored to contextualize and assist in understanding the mixed findings on the power of feedback to influence learning” (Evans, 2013, p. 73) through the application of a theoretical model, the Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2002; 2008). The research question guiding this critical exploration is:

How may interactive polling-based assessment be conceptualized through the application of the Conversational Framework to close the feedback gap between the desired performance and actual student learning outcomes in university mathematics?

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Leveraging The Conversational Framework

A main contribution of this Chapter is how teaching and learning theories can help in identifying efficient pathways for using, integrating and adapting interactive polling technologies in order to meet teaching and learning goals. Based on the Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2008), the article is a contribution to knowledge on which components of the learning environment to attend to - what instructors know and do, and what students know and do, i.e., metacognitive growth (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara & Pastorelli, 1996; Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000; Flavell, 1979), in order to see a positive correlation between the use of interactive polling technologies, and gains in undergraduate student learning. The outline of the Chapter is as follows:

  • Literature Review: Interactive Polling

  • Literature Review: Correlation between Clicker Usage and (Mixed) Learning Gains

  • The Conversational Framework: Introduction

  • Correlation between Clicker Usage and Learning Gains in University Mathematics: Metacognitive Growth for both Students and Academic Staff

  • Discussion/Conclusion

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