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A Revisited Study On The Use Of Clicker Technology To Evaluate Short Term Concept Retention

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Educational Research

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

14.101.1 - 14.101.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5044

Download Count

40

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Paper Authors

biography

Adam Czekanski United States Military Academy

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ADAM J. CZEKANSKI is an instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He teaches introductory courses in environmental science, environmental engineering, and hydrogeology. Mr. Czekansks academic and research interests include engineering education and drinking water treatment in developing nations. Mr. Czekanski is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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biography

David Roux United States Military Academy

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DAVID-MICHAEL P. ROUX is an instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He teaches introductory courses in environmental science, environmental engineering, and air pollution control. Mr. Rou⁸s academic and research interests include engineering education and physicochemical/biological treatment in environmental engineering.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Revisited Study on the Use of Clicker Technology to Evaluate Short-Term Concept Retention

Abstract

The use of electronic student response systems such as “clickers” is a relatively new and innovative means by which instructors can gain real-time feedback on student comprehension. We examined the use of clickers with 3rd-year undergraduates to determine if the anonymity provided by the device influenced student responses, while also assessing the effects of the time gap between exposure to the material and testing. We accomplished the objectives in an introductory environmental science course using multiple-choice questions focused on key course concepts. Two instructors participated in this classroom experiment. One instructor taught four sections of the course (n = 60) and divided his sections by those who answered the review questions using the clickers (n = 31) and those who answered by raising their hands (n = 29). A second instructor was assigned two sections (n = 29) and had students respond to the review questions by using the clickers. Previously, we evaluated short-term concept retention by administering questions to the students at the end of specified lectures. For this study, we modified our experimental protocol by administering the questions at the start of the next lecture in order to determine the extent to which this added time gap would influence student responses. We hypothesized that the lack of anonymity attributed to the hand raising approach can greatly skew results by allowing a few intelligent students to sway the majority and give the instructor a false impression of class comprehension. We further hypothesized that as the duration in time between exposure to the material and testing is increased, the accuracy of results from those not afforded anonymity will decrease. Our study showed that time duration between teaching and testing of material has a significant effect on concept retention and reinforced the value of clickers for accurate short term concept evaluation. Instructors can quickly assess their students’ current understanding of the course material and make adjustments to the course based on those results.

Key words: clickers, retention, active learning

Introduction

Educators have always struggled with the challenge of finding innovative ways to accurately assess student comprehension of material in the classroom. Methods historically used by instructors have included calling on a broad range of students to answer questions, having the entire class answer questions through visible means, or using volunteers1. Although each of these methods encourages migration toward a more active classroom learning environment, none truly give the instructor an accurate picture of how well or how poorly the class as a whole is grasping recently taught concepts. This downfall is primarily due to issues with the sample size inherent to these methods, namely that the small minority can inherently mislead the instructor into believing that the majority either understands or misunderstands the concept being questioned1. Without the use of periodic quizzes or deliberately advertised examinations, the

Czekanski, A., & Roux, D. (2009, June), A Revisited Study On The Use Of Clicker Technology To Evaluate Short Term Concept Retention Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5044

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