Student Perceptions Regarding Clickers: The Efficacy of Clicker Technologies

Student Perceptions Regarding Clickers: The Efficacy of Clicker Technologies

Sheri Stover (Wright State University, USA), Sharon G. Heilmann (Wright State University, USA) and Amelia R. Hubbard (Wright State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2639-1.ch014
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Abstract

This mixed-methods research study shows that the incorporation of real-time polling in an introductory Anthropology course (n = 107) taught in a large lecture class at a mid-size university can have a positive impact on students' perceptions of (1) satisfaction; (2) participation; and (3) whether the instructor was able to use the polling results effectively to gauge students' understanding. Independent sample t-test and ANOVA results indicated gender, race, and extroversion level were shown to have significant impacts on participation and understanding. Students did not show a significant preference for either of the two real-time polling systems (TopHat or TurningPoint) used in this study. This study shows how the incorporation of real-time polling in large, introductory, lecture classes can have a positive impact on students and has the potential to decrease the attrition rates and to improve student learning enrolled in these classes.
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Introduction

Teaching introductory college courses can be challenging for instructors in higher education. Many students in introductory courses view these courses as a painful hurdle that must be cleared before being able to move on to more useful and interesting courses (Ulbig & Notman, 2012). In an effort to implement more active learning in an introductory Anthropology course, an instructor implemented real-time polling (clickers) into her class. To find the “best” real-time polling system, the instructor decided to implement two different polling systems (TopHat and TurningPoint Technologies) over four different terms to identify the system that had the best results. This research study evaluates the impact of the real-time polling systems on students’ perceptions of their satisfaction and participation, and if the students believed the instructor was able to use the polling results to gauge students’ level of understanding (hereafter referred to as “understanding”). It also examines if demographic characteristics such as gender or race, or personality traits such as extroversion, had an impact in these areas.

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