iClickers Arrive!

This semester, three faculty members are piloting the use of iClickers in four classes.

Somya Dwivedi-Burks BiSc 001 – Structure and Function of Organisms

  • We met to go over the tech – went smoothly – now I want to touch base to see if I can help in getting them to use the things – she had poor purchase rate (like the others) until they see they are being used – they won’t buy them…
  • This is another long class – so perhaps again use it at the end for review?
  • or mini group activity to tackle issues at the conceptual level – mini case studies or problems?

Jorge Santiago-Blay – Biol 141 – Introductory Physiology

  • this is a challenge – time is tight – too much content to cover – he has 3-4 clicker questions per class, but he can’t see how it is useful since it chews up his time to cover content – and it is taking too long
  • We are brainstorming – perhaps use them for tutoring sessions – or exam review session with him…

- Bi Sc 004 – Human Body: Form and Function

  • professor and I talked about using the last half hour of a long evening class for clicker questions – review of the lecture – they can use their notes to answer – they are tired after 2 hours… even though he adds in activities – it is a long night – see if this helps them to focus on important info and prep for exams – info processing assist.

Heidi Deren – Hist 121 – History of the Holocaust

  • some tech issues – finally discovered the receiver was defective – they are sending another
  • last night ‘s session in conjunction with librarian got students using the clickers – good questions – thought-provoking and fun – questions where the answers were a surprise – got them engaged – 22 had the clickers – out of I think 36…
  • Showed the question (no choices listed) – discussion about possible answers – showed the choices – they voted – looked at responses and discussed those.. then showed the answer and quickly debriefed as needed.
  • I think those kinds of questions – about assumptions and attitudes on the topic of the Holocaust will be most important – different from the sciences courses for now

I spent the spring and summer introducing faculty to clickers through workshops and info sessions. We were able to get a set to use for hands-on sessions. Dave Test gave a session via Adobe Connect, and then we let interested faculty self-identify. We did a pedagogical session and shared resources for clicker question development.

The week before classes, I met with each faculty member in their classroom to test the receivers and instructor remotes.  As requested, I came to each faculty’s first class to answer any student questions and to give a brief “why” about clicker incorporation. Not many students had purchased the clickers yet – but didn’t seem to push back when it was mentioned that renting cost only $20.00.

We’ll continue to get student input/feedback on the additional cost and effectiveness. I want faculty to feel comfortable/confident with the technology first and then we can start to talk about question/activity development according to their needs.

So far we haven’t had many technical glitches – one thing to watch out for locally – We have to have the instructor PCs booted up first before plugging in the receivers – otherwise there were driver issues.

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