The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers Debora Herold Dina David Martin Vaughan Michael...

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  • The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as ClickersDebora HeroldDina DavidMartin VaughanMichael YardLilly Conference on College TeachingNovember 16, 2012

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  • Clickers in the ClassroomStudents reportClickers improve their understanding of materialLectures 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).

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  • Clickers in the ClassroomPriceClickers can be expensive ($16-40)Faculty may hesitate to require them May want to use them only sporadically Cell phones as clickerswww.PollEverywhere.com Gather live responses in the classroom using text, twitter, or web browser

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  • Previous ResearchCell phones in the classroom98.1% of students bring a cell phone to class84.4% send text messages during class81.9% of faculty are distracted by student cell use60.7% of students are distracted by own cell use59.8% of students are distracted by others cell use28.1% of students believe their cell use is distracting to others

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  • How it works

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  • ProcedureStudents 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.

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  • 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 #1112007563).

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  • Participants543 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

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  • Student PerceptionPercentage of students marking agree or strongly agree for the following statements

    StatementPercentageI 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%

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  • DistractionsPercentage of students answering yes to the following statements

    StatementPercentageDid you encounter any problems or technological issues when using your cell phone? 24%Did you check the time?76%Did you check your email?13%Did you respond to an email? 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%

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  • Distractions

    Texts and Emails sent0 emails96.30 texts52%1-3 texts39%4-35 texts9%

    Time spent on non-course related activitiesNone24%1-5 minutes53%7-30 minutes21%> 30 minutes2%

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  • 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?

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  • Summary and ConclusionsWhether 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.

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  • Summary and ConclusionsUsing 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.

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  • Summary and ConclusionsCritical 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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