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Effectiveness of Personal Response Systems as a Classroom Technology Tool at Clemson University
Unformatted Document Text:  attention during lectures. (Duncan, 2004) Evidence from the classroom of Nobel Laureate Carl Weiman indicates that clicker use significantly improved the understanding of students. (Weiman, 2004) Encouraging interaction between teachers and students is important to help hold attention and increase understanding. Studies in teaching methods have shown that student to student interaction in class or peer instruction is also very crucial to promote the understanding of concepts. (Fagen et al., 2002; Ratto et al., 2003) Clickers are well suited to encourage peer instruction in the classroom. (Duncan, 2004) This is how it works: After teaching an important concept, the instructor will ask the students a question about this concept in class. Students are then given the opportunity to answer the question with their iclicker. The results displayed will typically show a combination of right and wrong answers. Without telling them the correct answer, the teacher will ask students to discuss and convince their neighbors as to the right answer. The students are then polled again. Almost invariably, all the students get the correct answer during the second poll. (Wood, 2004) According to Duncan, teaching someone else always increases the understanding of the teacher. Thus a student who is able to convince his neighbor about the right answer ends up understanding the concept better as well. In addition, students are better able to teach or explain to their colleagues concepts that they understand well. The language or techniques that students use to communicate to their fellow students are perhaps unknown to the instructor. If students in classrooms are able to give prompt feed back, the instructor can always go back and explain important concepts again. However, it has been documented that university professors have noted an abrupt drop in participation and feedback in the 8

Authors: Ainuson, Kweku.
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attention during lectures. (Duncan, 2004) Evidence from the classroom of Nobel Laureate
Carl Weiman indicates that clicker use significantly improved the understanding of
students. (Weiman, 2004)
Encouraging interaction between teachers and students is important to help hold
attention and increase understanding. Studies in teaching methods have shown that
student to student interaction in class or peer instruction is also very crucial to promote
the understanding of concepts. (Fagen et al., 2002; Ratto et al., 2003) Clickers are well
suited to encourage peer instruction in the classroom. (Duncan, 2004) This is how it
works: After teaching an important concept, the instructor will ask the students a question
about this concept in class. Students are then given the opportunity to answer the question
with their iclicker. The results displayed will typically show a combination of right and
wrong answers. Without telling them the correct answer, the teacher will ask students to
discuss and convince their neighbors as to the right answer. The students are then polled
again. Almost invariably, all the students get the correct answer during the second poll.
(Wood, 2004) According to Duncan, teaching someone else always increases the
understanding of the teacher. Thus a student who is able to convince his neighbor about
the right answer ends up understanding the concept better as well. In addition, students
are better able to teach or explain to their colleagues concepts that they understand well.
The language or techniques that students use to communicate to their fellow students are
perhaps unknown to the instructor.
If students in classrooms are able to give prompt feed back, the instructor can
always go back and explain important concepts again. However, it has been documented
that university professors have noted an abrupt drop in participation and feedback in the
8


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