Track

Research Proposal / Teaching with Technology

Proposal Abstract

Extensive literature exists on why clickers are effective teaching tools, yet many instructors do not use them. The goal of this research study, which was supported by a 2015 POD Early Researcher Award, is to determine if receiving training on how to effectively use this technology will have an influence on instructors’ attitudes towards using it in their classrooms. We presented clicker training workshops, surveyed participants pre- and post-training, and analyzed the data. During this session we will share our findings, and lead discussion on what impact they may have on future training and use of this teaching technology.

Proposal Description

The “Millennial Generation” has been surrounded by digital media their entire lives. One way to address this characteristic of today’s student body, and engage them while enhancing their learning is to add technology to teaching. Literature on using personal response systems, or “clickers,” shows evidence that this technology has many advantages, including providing in-class formative assessment, increasing student engagement, and promoting active learning and critical thinking. However, these important outcomes are only achieved if the instructor actually uses clickers and does so in ways that effectively incorporates a pedagogical model that highlights these student outcomes. When polling a group of graduate student teaching assistants, it was surprising to see how many do not use this technology because they “do not like clickers.” So, might instructors change their perspectives on the pedagogical value of clickers if they receive appropriate training? And if so, how?

To answer these questions, we conducted a mix-method study, which was supported by a 2015 POD Early Researcher Award. Our hypothesis is that when instructors are appropriately trained to utilize clicker technology to enhance their teaching techniques, and to increase student engagement and learning, their perceptions regarding this technology will become more positive and they will be receptive to using it in their classrooms.

The research intervention was a clicker training workshop which demonstrated a teaching methodology that uses clickers to encourage deeper level learning and peer instruction. Participants filled out pre-training and post-training surveys on their attitudes towards using clicker technology to teach. We are currently finishing quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the data. In this session we will give a short interactive training presentation with the participants, share the study findings, and then lead a participant involved discussion on what impact these findings may have on future training and use of this teaching technology.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 2

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 29th, 2:00 PM Mar 29th, 2:45 PM

Impact of Training on Instructor Attitudes towards Clicker Technology

Room 2

Extensive literature exists on why clickers are effective teaching tools, yet many instructors do not use them. The goal of this research study, which was supported by a 2015 POD Early Researcher Award, is to determine if receiving training on how to effectively use this technology will have an influence on instructors’ attitudes towards using it in their classrooms. We presented clicker training workshops, surveyed participants pre- and post-training, and analyzed the data. During this session we will share our findings, and lead discussion on what impact they may have on future training and use of this teaching technology.