Clickers Increase Class Participation at Columbia Business School
Clickers – that is, individual classroom response devices – have become standard equipment issued to incoming students at Columbia Business School (CBS), the school reports.
The use of a classroom response system began as part of a pilot program in fall 2008, and when it became evident that students were becoming more engaged in class as a result, CBS decided to make the program permanent.
Professors are opting to use the classrooms response systems in a range of ways. Some seek to increase class participation by asking the entire class to answer questions related to class readings or lectures, either at the outset or at some other point during class. In this way, they can make sure that the thoughts of the entire class are heard, rather than just those of a few participants.
Other professors use the classroom response systems to poll students about provocative questions. By then providing a snapshot of students’ views to the class as a whole, professors can get a lively discussion going.
The clickers also give professors a way to gauge class ability in a non-test format, which allows them to streamline their teaching. For example, if 35 percent of the class answers a given question incorrectly, the professor can consider whether he or she might need to revisit certain class material.
Of course, clickers also make it super simple to monitor attendance, so students will need to think again before missing class…