Student Response Systems - Engaging Students in the Classroom


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Using Digital Technology to Engage Students in Face-to-Face Classrooms

Use of student response systems (otherwise known as clickers) has been around since, surprisingly, the 1960's. Over the years the technology has changed and evolved and so has its use in the classroom. Clickers are now being seen as a way to promote active learning, getting students engaged in the classroom and providing them with immediate feedback; a technique that may be lacking in some traditional classrooms. 

With the adoption of a university supported Clicker solution, Turning Technologies, many of UCO faculty members are embracing the use of this system within their own classrooms. Leann Laubach, an instructor in the UCO Nursing department, has been using a student response system in her courses for the past year and a half. 

According to Leann, "students are given quiz questions that relate to [the class] throughout the two hour class period. Using the personal response system allows the instructor to test students on class concepts before the content is given to see how well students understand the content prior to teaching.  Clickers keep the students engaged in learning as well as ensure that they attend class on a regular basis.  Now that the clicker registration is integrated with D2L, it will make registration and keeping track of student scores much easier than it has been in the past.  I have also used the clickers in my research course to have students answer survey questions and to review the answers to online quiz questions." 

Using clickers in this manner has allowed Leann to be able to engage students and test their knowledge throughout the class period rather than giving a single quiz at the beginning or end of the class. 

Research has shown many advantages to using student response systems in the classroom and instructors still have the flexibility to design/conduct their classes in a way that works best for them and their students. There are a variety of clicker educational strategies that can be used in the classroom. "Probably one of the best learning experiences is when I have students answer the questions in a group setting.  A group of students is given one clicker (2-3 students) and the students then collaborate on the answer."

Turning Technologies has a traditional clicker response card available for students to purchase but they also provide for a mobile solution using ResponseWare. ResponseWare is a web-enabled response option which will allow students to use their own devices as clickers. This enables students to actively participate in class, at minimal cost, using technology that they already own. 

Student response systems allow instructors to take attendance, gather survey data and get immediate knowledge feedback from their students. Turning Technologies also has learning management integration allowing UCO instructors to give quizzes and integrate the data back into the Desire2Learn system. 

Leann is just one of many instructors beginning the student response system journey on UCO's campus. Click here to learn more about Turning Technologies and how to get started using UCO's supported student response system.