2006 Teaching and Learning Symposium

3:00-4:30 p.m., April 25, 2006
Mary Gates Commons

Session Description

Interactive Lectures with “Clickers” - They are a HITT!

R. Daryl Pedigo - Physics

Active learning in the large lecture hall is difficult to achieve; the same small group of students tends to answer the lecturer's questions every day. In an attempt to engage the entire class (150 to 250 students) in active learning, infrared student response technology has been employed in freshman level physics classes here at UW since the spring quarter of 2003.

Each student purchases a hand-held remote transmitter (“clicker”) from the bookstore and uses it to answer multiple choice questions posed by the lecturer during class. Individual responses are collected and stored so that the instructor has a complete record of how each individual responded, but the class sees only a histogram displaying the percentage of students selecting each possible answer. This allows students to avoid the embarrasing scenario of being the only one with a hand in the air, encourages full participation, and provides immediate feedback to both instructors and students regarding the level of understanding of the topic at hand.

Typical lecture structure for best engagement will be discussed. Selected interactive lecture worksheets, sample questions and results, and student attitude survey data will be presented.