Using Clickers in the Classroom

Research-Based Questions to Guide Best Teaching

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Using Clickers in the Classroom

In our post, “Clickers in the Classroom: Are They Worth It?,” we highlighted the work of authors Cui Liu et al., who reviewed 128 studies on the effect of clickers on student performance.  The authors found that the teaching method used with clickers greatly affects the outcomes on student learning and performance. 

Liu et al. found that students’ independent use of clickers during lectures made little to no difference on student learning (618). The key to successful outcomes with clickers was student collaboration. Having students discuss answers to questions before and/or after submitting responses via clicker led to improved student performance (613). Teachers’ feedback about students’ responses was also important to successful use of clickers in the classroom.

The authors note that students who used clickers in a collaborative environment reported increased participation, motivation, and engagement with the course (616).


Questions to Guide Educators’ Professional Development:

  1. Do the teachers in your district/school use clickers in the classroom?
  2. What types of clickers are most commonly used in your district/school? (E.g. remote devices, mobile phones, etc.)
  3. What apps do teachers in your district/school currently use with mobile phone clickers?
  4. When the teachers in your district/school use clickers, do they have students collaborate before and/or after submitting answers? Or are students thinking and submitting answers independently? 
  5. Are the teachers in your district/school aware of what the research says about the effectiveness of clickers on student learning?
  6. For teachers who do not use clickers in the classroom: Why not?

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