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Using Classroom Communication Systems: A Unique Technology Based K 14 Outreach Program At An Engineering University

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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

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1403.1 - 10.1403.12



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Paper Authors

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Susan Kowalski

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Adam Kowalski

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Frank Kowalski

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

Using Classroom Communication Systems: A Unique Technology-Based K-14 Outreach Program at an Engineering University

Susan E. Kowalski, Frank V. Kowalski, and Adam P. Kowalski Colorado School of Mines

Abstract: We describe a unique K-14 outreach program of Colorado School of Mines, a public engineering university. This program is centered on Classroom Communication Systems (a.k.a. student response systems), in which every student uses a handheld, wireless IR remote device to transmit a response to a question posed by the instructor. The responses are recorded and instantaneously compiled in a student-anonymous histogram for all to see. This technology facilitates the dual advantages of actively engaging students in constructivist learning and providing real-time formative assessment for both the instructor and the students.

Our successful use of this technology on campus is the foundation for an outreach program open to all Colorado educators, but targeting science and mathematics teachers. K-14 teachers come to campus to learn both technical and pedagogical aspects of using classroom communicators. They return to their own classrooms with all necessary equipment. Three weeks later, they return the equipment to campus and complete this professional development activity with shared reflection and summative assessment. They are eligible for subsequent checkout of the equipment. We discuss the mutual benefits this program provides to the teachers, their students, and the university.

Introduction Colorado School of Mines, in Golden CO, is a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. The Classroom Communicator Project was created when the Physics Department was honored in June 2001 with the CCHE (Colorado Commission on Higher Education) Program of Excellence Award. This prestigious recognition of the quality and robustness of the Engineering Physics program provided the original funding for dissemination of classroom communicator technology both on-campus and in outreach to the greater kindergarten through community college (K-14) educational community.

What is a classroom communication system? Classroom communication system is a generic description for technology alternately known as a student response system, audience feedback system, or more commonly, “clickers.” When the teacher poses a multiple-choice question, every student in the classroom transmits a response using a handheld, wireless IR remote. The responses are collected by a receiver and recorded on a computer. The results, instantaneously compiled, are projected as a student-anonymous Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Kowalski, S., & Kowalski, A., & Kowalski, F. (2005, June), Using Classroom Communication Systems: A Unique Technology Based K 14 Outreach Program At An Engineering University Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14937

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: © 2005 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