Using Clickers in Nonmajors- and Majors-Level Biology Courses: Student Opinion, Learning, and Long-Term Retention of Course Material.
Crossgrove K, Curran KL
Cell Biology Education (2008)
Category: teaching ¤ Added: Apr 18, 2008 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Student response systems (clickers) are viewed positively by students and instructors in numerous studies. Evidence that clickers enhance student learning is more variable. After becoming comfortable with the technology during fall 2005–spring 2006, we compared student opinion and student achievement in two different courses taught with clickers in fall 2006. One course was an introductory biology class for nonmajors, and the other course was a 200 level genetics class for biology majors. Students in both courses had positive opinions of the clickers, although we observed some interesting differences between the two groups of students. Student performance was significantly higher on exam questions covering material taught with clickers, although the differences were more dramatic for the nonmajors biology course than the genetics course. We also compared retention of information 4 mo after the course ended, and we saw increased retention of material taught with clickers for the nonmajors course, but not for the genetics course. We discuss the implications of our results in light of differences in how the two courses were taught and differences between science majors and nonmajors.