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The Use Of Clickers In The Engineering Classroom

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Best Zone Papers

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1333.1 - 10.1333.6



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Paper Authors

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John L. Falconer

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Janet deGrazia

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Al Weimer

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

The Use of Clickers in Engineering Classrooms

Janet deGrazia, John L. Falconer and Al Weimer Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309-0424

As emphasized by many studies, cooperative learning can improve engineering education (1,2). One form this has taken in Physics and Chemistry departments is in-class ConcepTests (3,4). These are multiple-choice conceptual questions posed to the class. After all the students respond with an answer, they are asked to discuss the answers amongst themselves (peer instruction), and then given the opportunity to change their answer. Mazur (3) showed a lack of correlation between student’s conceptual understanding of physics and their ability to do quantitative problems. Students could do quantitative problems better than conceptual problems that used the same concept. He stated that students memorized algorithms for solving the problems without understanding the concepts, and thus had difficulty when the problem they had to solve was different from ones they had solved previously. He reported a gain in student performance with the use of ConcepTests. The students’ conceptual understanding increased because students were better able to explain concepts to one another than their teachers could. The percentage of students with the correct answer always increased after they discussed the question with their neighbors . The effectiveness of ConcepTests can be improved if students are graded on their answer, because this increases both participation and motivation. The grading is done with IR transmitters and receivers, as described below. Our experiences in engineering courses showed the following advantages: students liked using concept tests and getting instant feedback on how well they understand material as it is presented to them. the instructor obtained instant feedback on how well the class understood a concept. students are more motivated to be prepared and thus they learn more in class. attendance in class was higher than the previous semesters where ConcepTests were not used. Though statistics were not obtained the previous semesters, attendance was over 90% when ConcepTests were used and graded.

Falconer, J. L., & deGrazia, J., & Weimer, A. (2005, June), The Use Of Clickers In The Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15116

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