Acceptance of clickers in a large multimodal biochemistry class as determined by student evaluations of teaching: Are they just an annoying distraction for distance students?

Nathan G. Miles, Tatiana P. Soares da Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A student response system (clickers) was introduced into a second year introductory biochemistry class to improve student engagement and performance. The class was delivered in both internal and distance education (DE) modes, with the DE students receiving recordings of the lectures (including clicker activities). However, there was concern over the use of clickers in internal classes as it may be alienating or distracting to DE students while reviewing the recordings of these lectures. In order to examine students' attitudes toward clickers, closed- and open-ended questions were examined in the student evaluations of teaching (SET). Understanding attitudes of internal and DE students is especially important as differences may exist between these groups due to the different learning environments they experience. Approximately 45% of students completed the surveys, of which 88%-91% provided written comments. Of the written comments, 18% of DE students and 22% of internal students provided unsolicited comments about clickers. Interestingly, no difference was observed in the themes identified in the comments between cohorts. The key themes included 1) clickers were beneficial for learning (and increased knowledge), 2) clickers were engaging/fun, and 3) clickers could have been used more widely. Overall, based on this study, it was believed that clicker usage was not seen as negative activity by DE students and it was worth continuing to use clickers in teaching the large multimodal class studied here. However, there is a need to investigate the potential of new and emerging technologies to provide more interactive experiences for DE students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Volume44
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Acceptance of clickers in a large multimodal biochemistry class as determined by student evaluations of teaching: Are they just an annoying distraction for distance students?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this