The effect of using clickers in higher education science classrooms
Clickers have been used in schools for nearly a decade. However, there is limited research examining clicker influence on student achievement. Using the Mollborn and Hoekstra (2010) Clicker Model as its theoretical framework, this study investigated the influence of clicker use on higher education science classrooms. The research was conducted in two parts: 1) a causal comparative study based on three science courses taught over two semesters examining whether there was a statistical difference in student achievement in the classes that used clickers and the classes that did not; and 2) a descriptive survey that explored the perceptions of teachers' about clicker use. Data collection had two phases: collection of student final grade averages in each class and collection of survey responses. For Research Question 1, the investigator used t-tests and a Mann Whitney U test to determine statistical differences in grades in clicker vs. non-clicker classes. For Research Question 2, the responses were coded to generate a factor analysis, descriptive statistics, and percentages. For Research Questions 3-5, the investigator coded the responses to four open-ended questions and identified themes. This research found statistically significant differences in student grades in the three science courses under study. The survey data identified positive perceptions of teachers' using clickers. Lastly, the study revealed teachers' perceived clickers as beneficial and recommended mentoring programs for educators considering clicker integration. The major conclusions of the study were that students in clicker classes outperformed students in classes without clickers and that teachers (n=64) found clickers beneficial to teaching and learning.