Session S21a (Monday, 9:30am, Thomas 118)

P145: Clicking causing complacency in college and college prep classes - WITHDRAWN

Rosio DeLeon, James E. Becvar, Mahesh Narayan (University of Texas at El Paso, USA)

Education seeks to enable students to learn for a better tomorrow.  Many educators have embraced clickers to spur interest and to determine student understanding of concepts.  Some use the device to record attendance.  Clickers are supposed to promote active learning, but do they really?  Are these devices too good to be true?  Our conclusions to these questions are: yes, unfortunately.  Clickers can undermine, if not degrade, classroom education; they can give a sense of complacency in the minds of both instructor and student.  Unfortunately, this sense of self-satisfaction is illusory.  We report on observations in two college classrooms, one of 400 students and one chemistry class of 120 students, and four high school classrooms of 28 to 30 students each. A proxy can click ‘present’ for one or more absent friends. Easy ways exist to cheat on graded ‘clicker quizzes’; a slight turn of the head in packed rooms provides plagiarized results.  Students in the rear half of one large classroom exploited the internet or the textbook during the “answering window”. After the announced result, the classroom environment became chaotic; student chatter was widespread; student interest in the subject being taught dwindled between clicking sessions; students knew they could respond correctly to the forthcoming “clicker quiz”.  Both the lecturer and the student body appeared satisfied, albeit for different reasons! The former interpreted large percentages of correct responses as ‘student comprehension’, and the latter seemed to enjoy the newfound mechanism for “unfounded, short term, success”.   A worrisome implication: the more technology, the more lazy professors become and the less students actually learn.

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