Asee peer logo

Use Of Clickers For Real Time Assessment In An Introduction To The Civil Engineering Profession Course

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Enhancing CE Learning Through Use of Technology

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1304.1 - 15.1304.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Monique Head Texas A&M University

visit author page

MONIQUE HEAD is an assistant professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Her research and teaching interests include structural, bridge and earthquake engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Use of Clickers for Real-time Assessment in an Introduction to the Civil Engineering Profession Course


The objective of this paper is to show how clickers or Classroom Performance System (CPS) devices can be used to enhance the classroom experience and gain real-time assessment in an introductory civil engineering course. Clickers are currently being used in an introduction to the civil engineering profession course to engage students and assess what they have learned. For example, students use the clickers to identify historic civil engineering monuments as well as to differentiate various aspects within civil engineering subdisciplines. Results show that clickers do motivate students to be more attentive and help achieve the course objectives. Moreover, it was found that the clickers can also help teachers explain concepts better given the real-time feedback from the student responses.

Why Use Clickers?

The use of clickers or Classroom Performance System (CPS) devices is not a new application of technology. Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of the clicker technology to revealing concept retention and evaluating short-term retention.1-3 However, the manner in which they can be used is vast and may be seemingly appropriate for some engineering courses to stimulate the learning environment and provide real-time assessment for both the students and instructor. Students can respond to multiple choice, yes/no, Likert scale, and true/false questions along with providing numeric responses and even responses to questions posed "on the fly" by the instructor. The CPS software enables the instructor to display the questions via CPS for PowerPoint or directly through the CPS software, which is quite user-friendly once a class roster has been uploaded. As such, clickers are an efficient means for engaging students, creating an active learning environment, and managing data for large class sizes.

Given their usefulness, clickers were deemed appropriate for first time use in a one (1) credit hour introduction to the civil engineering course that met on Fridays, where students were expected to achieve the following:

Identify American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) monuments of the millennium Differentiate between the various subdisciplines within civil engineering Conclude which subdiscipline they would be interested in pursuing

It was found that students were more attentive during lectures when they knew that a response, and hopefully the correct response, would be required of them. Each lecture consisted of a speaker, typically a faculty member from a specific subdiscipline within the civil engineering department. (A schedule of the course topics is shown in Table 1). During the presentations, various aspects and challenges faced by those in the profession were emphasized along with research needs and career paths. During each lecture, the students were to respond to at least three (3) questions that were prepared by the speaker. Attendance was encouraged since students were to earn ten (10) points for attendance and one (1) point per clicker question for each class

Head, M. (2010, June), Use Of Clickers For Real Time Assessment In An Introduction To The Civil Engineering Profession Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16878

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: © 2010 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