Asee peer logo

The Impact of Clickers on Your Classroom and Your Career

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Engineering Management In The Classroom

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1205.1 - 23.1205.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Ted Eschenbach University of Alaska Anchorage

visit author page

Dr. Ted Eschenbach, P.E. is the principal of TGE Consulting, an emeritus professor of engineering management at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and the founding editor emeritus of the Engineering Management Journal. He is the author or coauthor of nearly 250 publications and presentations, including 15 books. With his coauthors he has won best paper awards at ASEE, ASEM, ASCE, & IIE conferences, and the 2009 Grant award for the best article in The Engineering Economist. He earned his B.S. from Purdue in 1971, his doctorate in industrial engineering from Stanford University in 1975, and his masters in civil engineering from UAA in 1999.

visit author page


Neal Lewis University of Bridgeport

visit author page

Dr. Neal Lewis received his Ph.D. in engineering management in 2004 and B.S. in chemical engineering in 1974 from the University of Missouri – Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), and his MBA in 2000 from the University of New Haven. He is an associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Bridgeport. He has over 25 years of industrial experience, having worked at Procter & Gamble and Bayer. Prior to UB, he has taught at UMR, UNH, and Marshall University.

visit author page


Gillian M. Nicholls University of Alabama in Huntsville

visit author page

Dr. Gillian M. Nicholls is an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, and a 2009-2010 Gray Faculty Fellow at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her research interests are in applying statistical analysis and optimization to supply chain management, transportation management, and engineering education. She holds the B.S. in Industrial Engineering (Lehigh University), Masters in Business Administration (Penn State University), M.S. in Industrial Engineering (University of Pittsburgh.), and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (University of Pittsburgh).

visit author page


Jani M Pallis University of Bridgeport

visit author page

Dr. Jani Macari Pallis received her Ph.D. concentrating in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She has a master’s from the University of California, Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s and bachelor degree in Health Systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is an associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Bridgeport. She has over 30 years of industry experience working at United Airlines and as the CEO of Cislunar Aerospace, Inc, a small engineering firm she founded while a graduate student.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Impact of Clickers on Your Classroom and Your CareerStudent response units or clickers enhance student learning by providing immediatefeedback to both students and the teacher/professor. This feedback can be the mostsignificant change to teaching since moveable type. In addition clickers increase studentengagement with all material in a class. Not surprisingly, every year there is morequantitative evidence of the value of clickers and richer descriptions of how clickers canbe used. This presentation does add to that evidence and those descriptions, but the paper’sfocus is at a higher level—how and why can clickers qualitatively change your classroom.And how does/can that impact your career—including the promotion and tenure process.This is supported with anecdotal evidence gathered by professors whose clickerexperience ranges from using for their first course to 25 years of use in a variety ofclasses. Our central thesis is that clickers can change the lecture hall from the typicalmonologue with questions to a dialogue focused on learning. As a simple example,consider how clickers can surmount the common reluctance of international students tospeak up after a lifetime of rote-based instruction. As another example, who is providingmore value added, the professor presenting another example like the one in the text or theprofessor who is responding to a common misunderstanding held by numerous students. The dialogue changes how both students and faculty approach the material and whatboth learn from the classroom and about the material. Simply presenting or watching thepresentation is not the best learning mode. Not surprisingly, if both students and facultyare learning more—both are better positioned for future courses and careers. At most institutions faculty members want to be recognized as a good, excellent, oroutstanding teacher. (We do acknowledge that there are some cases where excellentteaching is interpreted as a lack of focus on grant money and research, which is bad forone’s career.) We have observed that department chairs and deans do hear about and areinfluenced by students talking about how much more they’re learning and how muchmore they like the classes of Professor X. This can help with promotion and tenure, or itmay give that faculty member more influence on the decision of what classes they teach. Finally, we suggest that one of the best reasons to use clickers is that they can maketeaching a lot more fun. Instead of focusing on covering a chapter’s worth of material, itis possible to focus on maximizing what students learn in the classroom and the course.

Eschenbach, T., & Lewis, N., & Nicholls, G. M., & Pallis, J. M. (2013, June), The Impact of Clickers on Your Classroom and Your Career Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22590

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015