Sunday, March 8, 2009

NPR segment on Clickers in the Classroom

This "All Tech Considered" segment generated quite a buzz.  There was a comment about the limitations of clickers as they can only support multiple choice questions.  Luckily several comments clarified the concept of how these can be used for needs analysis and for leading to active learning using the Think-Pair-Share technique.  

I use the clickers to poll the audience on questions where there may be no right answer (e.g. ethical issues) and then allow them to discuss the issues amongst themselves and then maybe poll again.  I also create questions on the fly to decide on what the class wants to learn or to make sure they understand  the concepts before moving on to the next step.   I create hyperlinks in the presentation that let me jump directly to a specific topic if indicated by the audience responses.

This helps to keep the learning student-centered.  When used appropriately, the clickers are a wonderful tool!