Ziene Mottiar has been using clickers with First Year students in a module on Economics for Tourism, Hospitality, Event and Leisure.
I have found using the clickers a brilliant extra resource in the classroom. I have used them to recap on topics that I have already covered, from my perspective it shows how much the students understood of what has been covered in class, from the student perspective they can evaluate their own understanding and learning. My assessment for this module is a multiple choice exam so I will be using the clickers in coming weeks to do practice on multiple choice types of questions. Using them throughout the lectures does, I believe, make them less concerned about multiple choice questions as they get practice with using the format of questions and reinforce their learning as they engage with the questions.
While I do not use them for every lecture, I find that when I introduce them to a class there is a great buzz of excitement among students. I believe that this is mainly because they gain instant feedback on their knowledge, essentially knowing if they got the answer to the question correct or not. The only downside is that it takes time to distribute them and get set up. This can sometimes disrupt the flow of a lecture and it is for this reason that I have not used them as much as I thought I would to promote discussion within the lecture. I often encourage students to get into groups to brainstorm ideas/discuss issues but I still facilitate each group asking what they discussed. The clickers have not replaced this aspect of my teaching as I have realised that using clickers may not be an appropriate strategy in that instance with the students.
In the coming weeks I want to use the clickers to run the final multiple choice assessment for the student, but I am apprehensive about the ultimate validity of examinations through use of clickers and what the students and external examiner reaction to this would be!
Overall, so far, clickers have been a significant addition to my lecturing tool-kit as they enhance engagement, instant feedback and a bit of excitement in the lectures! It is something that I hope to continue using in coming semesters.