Use of Clickers Essay Paper
The use of clickers has had widespread application in schools and has led to beneficial application to students. The response systems provided by clickers technology has provided for ease in class participation by a vast majority of students initially denied a chance to do by the earlier systems. Clickers’ technology has gained a quick popularity among students due to the friendliness of the technology applied by the system. Nevertheless, there are various issues associated with the ethics on the use of clickers’ technology. Moreover, various discussions as to the cultural competencies on the use of clickers have been viewed through diverse perspectives. Immense benefits on the use of clickers have been suggested ranging from increased interactions among diverse cultures as well as better relations. Finally, further research is undoubtedly needful in order to produce better results on the use of clickers.
Keywords: clickers, technology, ethics, culture.
The use of clickers has allowed instructors to receive response from students on questions asked during the progress of a lecture. Clickers systems are widely referred to as student response systems, audience response systems or classroom response systems. During the use of clicker systems, a student uses a device similar to a TV remote in answering the questions that the instructor poses through power point presentation which is specially-designed. After all the students have submitted their response, it is possible to view the summaries of their response in real time. Similarly, the answers and results obtained can be stored for future viewing electronically. The working of clickers is facilitated by either radio frequency or infrared technology in the transmission and recording of response from students on questions from instructors. In front of the class, it is placed a receiving station which is small and portable. This collects and records the responses from students. Depending on the preference of the instructor, it is possible for each clicker to be registered to a student and be set to generate signals which are unique and identifiable.
The use of clickers system is very vital especially in terms of student participation in the class activities (Gonzalez & Williams, 2005). Similarly, the use of clickers system provides a means for quick feedback on the progress of the class to the instructor. At the same time, the instructor and students are able to detect any confusion on the presentation. The use of clickers facilitates the recording of attendance of classes by students. In the recent past, clickers have become a vital requirement for admission into colleges and universities just like calculators and textbooks. Due to advancements in technology, clickers have been further developed to become multifaceted equipment. For instance, some have become so advanced that they accommodate complex responses through the presence of keypad similar to that of a telephone.
Various policies have been developed in order to facilitate efficient and effective use of clickers systems. For instance, during a lecture, time is of paramount importance; as such, proper time management should be applied by the instructor. The time spent on obtaining response from students should be limited to prevent them from getting involved into other matters outside the context of the class. Similarly, the grading system in clicker system should be encouraging to the students. For instance, there are two major forms of grading commonly used by instructors. The first involves the allocation of similar credit to both correct and incorrect responses. This is meant to encourage participation. Likewise, greater credit can be given on correct responses than one given to incorrect ones. The second approach on grading is where credit is given for participation while credit for correct responses is given occasionally.
The use of clickers systems facilitates the anonymous delivery of responses from students within a classroom. This prevents the instructor from tracking the individual response from a student (Freeman, 2007). However, many instructors would appreciate it highly if there was a way of tracking the response from an individual learner. Nevertheless, the anonymous form of response has various benefits on the part of the students. In consideration of the ethical aspect of such a response, the system provides adequate opportunity for the students to manage their conduct and ethics. For instance, during discussion of controversial topics the students are able to provide their responses without any fear. The conduct of each individual student is very essential in determining their future professional life. As such, the application of clickers systems provides a chance for assessment of orientation of the students ethically.
The use of clickers highly promotes interactions among students. The physical and intellectual capabilities of students are highly enhanced by the interactions provided during class discussions. The use of clickers has had unprecedented contribution in promoting cultural competencies among students through the increased student participation and learning (Hoekstra, 2009). Active engagement in the classroom activities had enabled students to freely share their ideas without fear of intimidation due to cultural differences. As a result, more favorable learning environments have been created for learning. Similarly, clickers have a high potential for facilitating meaningful collaborations within the campus due to ease in collegial interactions.
There are several implications associated with the use of clickers in classrooms. Firstly, students’ attendance can be highly boosted by the active participation of all students. Secondly, the interactive active engagement is major boost towards better relations among students (James, 2006). Thirdly, the use of clickers facilitates instructors to apply diversified instructions during their lectures. Nonetheless, there are negative implications associated with clickers. First, there may be minimal propensity on the part of the students to pay attention to the instructor, seriously think about the questions or even commit to the answers provided. Secondly, there always seem to be a pressure on the students to answer correctly. This has minimal incentive for the sharing of individual reasoning and provision of honest answers. One more negative implication is the imbalance between smatter students and the average. A worse scenario is the encouragement of memorization from previous semesters. Finally, the use of clickers may not be suitable for some form of questions. Nevertheless, clicker technology has had more benefits than losses to instructors and students and should be encouraged in colleges due to the benefits it brings.
Freeman, S. (2007). “Prescribed Active Learning Increases Performance in Introductory Biology.” CBE Life Sci Edu, 6(2), 132-9.
Gonzalez, F. & Williams, M. (2005). Clickers. Amherst Junction, WI: Hard Shell Word Factory.
Hoekstra, A. (2009). Clicker Pedagogy case study. Denver, CO: University of Colorado department of Sociology.
James M.C. (2006). “The effect of grading incentive on student discourse in Peer Instruction.” American Journal of Physics, 74(8), 689-691.

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