Interaction equals engagement

In an age of smart phones, iPads, Facebook and texting, it’s apparent that technology rules our society.

I tend to be a geek when it comes to this kind of stuff, so I was thoroughly intrigued by an article I read this weekend about “remote personal response system” devices — AKA, clickers — that are making their way into college classrooms across the country. According to a recent article in The Philadelphia  Inquirer, an estimated two million college students are now using them, which is transforming teaching – and learning  (click here for the full article).

What is a clicker and how do they work?

A clicker is wireless remote that resembles a pared-down TV remote control. They use infrared or radio frequency to transmit and record student responses to questions. Data is collected by the instructor in real time and can be displayed via a projector at the front of the classroom.

The technology allows faculty to fine-tune their instruction based on student responses, and gives students a quick way to validate their own learning, helping them identify areas that need improvement. The technology can also be used to take attendance,  poll student opinions, and administer quizzes.

“This is the MTV era,” said Neal H. Hooker, an Ohio State professor who uses the technology in his agricultural economics course. “It’s the instant-gratification generation. They don’t like doing a quiz and hearing the responses in three days. They want to see if they’ve got it right or wrong right then.”

I’m curious if anyone at CSUB is using such technology and what pros and cons people have found with such devices.

— Rob Meszaros, Director of Public Affairs and Communications