Context: 30 ECP Graphic Design students.
Reason for using clickers
After assessing a class test on difficult concepts in Graphic Design, Edwine Simone, the lecturer, decided to use clickers to run a pub quiz on concepts that students struggled with in the test.
The clicker software allows to record scores by participant and question. For this to happen you have to indicate correct answers and adding a “correct answer indicator” when creating the clicker questions. The system will then automatically create a report on final scores by participant. Since clickers are used anonymously, the only way of identifying a student is by identifying the clicker barcode related to the score (each clicker is identified by a bar code at the back).
In this example, students had each a clicker and voted individually. However, we allowed students to consult with their neighbors for difficult questions. In some instances, we asked them to revote again, when results were equally distributed (after consulting with their class mates). Questions were discussed after showing results, often asking students to defend their answers. After answering 10 questions, a report was run to identify the leading students. Five students had a result of 66% and above. These five students then participated in a knock-out, which consisted of three more questions. After each question, we eliminated students that did not answer the question correctly (we identified these students by asking them). At the end we had two winners, who shared a box of cookies. The session took app. one hour.
Pubquiz-style clicker interventions help students practice difficult concepts in an entertaining way. By adding a competitive element, student engagement is higher, while at the same time retaining the advantages of peer-learning and support, facilitated by clickers. However, experience shows that pub quizzes work well with rather simple questions. Using more difficult questions, which necessitate lengthy discussions and explanations, might interrupt the dynamics/excitement of a pub quiz. As can be seen below, students results are often surprising, with often the majority of students getting seemingly simple questions wrong.
“We have used clickers for one year now in Graphic Design. Teaching such a practical, hands-on discipline made it difficult for us to see the potential for clickers. However, we saw that clickers can put students at ease when answering questions. It allows them to experience new ways of learning. Especially the collaborative learning experience clickers offer, is beneficial to students. Peer discussion encourages further learning. On a whole I was very happy the way technology was integrated into the teaching and learning at ECP level. The multiple choice questions are more motivating, as they capture the students attention immediately. Competition plays a big role in motivating students to learn and the knock out questions stimulate thinking. We saw that rewarding students (in our case with cookies) is an important factor in student learning.”
Examples of questions asked in Graphic Design clicker class including student feedback on session:
First year conservation class. Revision session after specific section of curriculum was covered. Groups of 3 or 4 students vote with one clicker after consulting with each other. Students write down their names and the barcode of their clickers. Their final score is used as part of continuous assessment.