Clicker technology in health and medicine

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Using clickers (CCSs) during lectures
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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 20 May 2017


See also Clicker technology in workshops | Information technology topics | Social media in undergraduate medical education | Teaching library users

Clicker systems (also called audience response systems and classroom communication systems (CCSs)) are a combination of handheld remote devices, receivers and software that allow students to send responses (typically multiple-choice) to a computer which are collected and tabulated in real-time. Clicker technology allows every student to answer without the fear of humiliation or negative attention. When using student response systems, every student can share their input without embarrassment rather than allowing one or two eager students to dominate discussions. Responses are transmitted wirelessly to a receiver attached to a computer and tabulated by its software. CCSs also include shared display of results. The main benefit of clicker technology in classroom is the potential to increase interactivity with the students. Those students who are more engaged during class have been found to be better students; recent research shows that increasing the peer-to-peer and student-teacher interaction improves learning and course effectiveness (Hake, Mazur, etc.). Some specific applications or strategies using clickers include:

  • question and answer formats
  • unit reviewing
  • collaborative work (pairs, groups)
  • debating points or issues
  • voting and peer evaluation
  • data collection (survey, statistical analyses)
  • customized instruction (based on understanding)
  • informal assessment

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