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The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers Debora Herold Dina David Martin Vaughan Michael Yard Lilly Conference on College Teaching November 16,

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Presentation on theme: "The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers Debora Herold Dina David Martin Vaughan Michael Yard Lilly Conference on College Teaching November 16,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers Debora Herold Dina David Martin Vaughan Michael Yard Lilly Conference on College Teaching November 16, 2012

2 Clickers in the Classroom Students report Clickers improve their understanding of material Lectures are more enjoyable and entertaining (Masikunis et al., 2009; Shaffer & Collura, 2009) Faculty report Incorporating clickers makes their lectures more interactive Using clickers improves their teaching style (Masikunis et. al, 2009) Findings are mixed as to whether using clickers improves learning. Clickers improve performance (Morling, et al., 2008; Shaffer & Collura, 2009; Shapiro, 2009) There is either no difference or even reduced performance when clickers are employed (Butler et al., 2010).

3 Clickers in the Classroom Price Clickers can be expensive ($16-40) Faculty may hesitate to require them May want to use them only sporadically Cell phones as clickers Gather live responses in the classroom using text, twitter, or web browser

4 Previous Research Cell phones in the classroom 98.1% of students bring a cell phone to class 84.4% send text messages during class 81.9% of faculty are distracted by student cell use 60.7% of students are distracted by own cell use 59.8% of students are distracted by other’s cell use 28.1% of students believe their cell use is distracting to others

5 How it works

6 Procedure Students enrolled in 5 gateway classes were asked to use their cell phones as a personal response system (PRS) to answer short question given to them during their classroom meetings. Questions were presented on PowerPoint slides and responses collected by Poll Everywhere, a web-based program that collects texts, in real time, from the students’ cell phones.

7 Procedure The procedure was repeated at three separate class meetings. A survey was administered at the end of the third cell phone session. Participation was completely voluntary. No compensation was offered. This study was approved by the Indiana University IRB (study # ).

8 Participants 543 students (mean age: 21.5) enrolled in four different introductory courses (Psychology, Anatomy, Biology, and Communications) 96% had cell phones with them 90% choose to use them

9 Student Perception Percentage of students marking agree or strongly agree for the following statements StatementPercentage I enjoyed using cell phones in class.83% Using cell phones in class increased my interest in the material being presented. 71% Using cell phones in class increased my motivation to participate in class. 71% Using cell phones in class helped my understanding of the material presented. 67% Using cell phones would make me more likely to attend class regularly. 40% Using cell phones in class takes too long.26% Using cell phones in class is a waste of time.19% Using my cell phone in class distracted me from the material being presented. 22%

10 Distractions Percentage of students answering “yes” to the following statements StatementPercentage Did you encounter any problems or technological issues when using your cell phone? 24% Did you check the time?76% Did you check your ?13% Did you respond to an ?4% Did you check a text message?65% Did you respond to a text message?51% Did you start another app?16% Did you surf the web?13%

11 Texts and s sent 0 s texts52% 1-3 texts39% 4-35 texts9% Distractions Time spent on non- course related activities None24% 1-5 minutes53% 7-30 minutes21% > 30 minutes2%

12 What do you think? Where does this leave you? Does this make you more or less interested in using clickers/cell phones in the classroom? How have you dealt with technology as a distraction?

13 Summary and Conclusions Whether we like to admit it or not, the use of cell phones and other technology in the college classroom is common, and is not going away! The challenge for instructors is to make the technology work to help improve the classroom environment, rather than allow it to be an obstacle to active learning, or to be a distraction. Students expect instructors to be technologically astute, and to foster an interactive learning environment.

14 Summary and Conclusions Using cell phones as clickers is one way to incorporate technology as a useful tool. Factors such as cost, classroom location (cell reception), student attendance, subject matter, and standardization should be addressed. It is important that the core Principles of Undergraduate Learning (PULs) do not suffer due to technology in the classroom.

15 Summary and Conclusions Critical Thinking has been identified as an area in which our students must improve, and technology can either serve as our Friend or as our Foe in this regard.


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