Clicker response timings and their association with grades.

Denholm-Price, James, Orwell, Suzan and Soan, Peter (2016) Clicker response timings and their association with grades. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference : Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy; 30 Jun - 01 Jul 2016, Leicester, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Classroom response systems, including single-function hardware devices known as “clickers” and systems that utilise multifunction mobile devices such as mobile phones, are widely used for education and training. In higher education there is a growing evidence-base showing how they can be used effectively to promote active learning in the classroom and the ubiquity of mobile device ownership amongst students is increasing the access that instructors have to these kinds of response systems. Recent work at Kingston University has deployed and evaluated clickers in various-sized groups of students across STEM subjects (and elsewhere) which has confirmed experiences and some of the findings of previous studies. Now we aim to take advantage of the data gathered from these trials to determine if there is a relationship between students’ speed and consistency of responses to in-class clicker questions and their summative assessment grades. If such an association can be established it could enable an alternative use for the data obtained from clicker-based and other classroom response systems in developing early diagnostics of students’ engagement or potential success, possibly as part of a larger learning analytics approach. In this paper we will present cohort-level data from the current clickers trial at Kingston University from groups of students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, comparing summative assessment results with the speed and accuracy of responses to clicker questions in the associated teaching sessions. This study “in the wild” does not have the controlled structure of some related experiments but by being based on the responses from students in authentic teaching situations avoids some of the shortcomings identified by recent meta-analysis and review articles in this area and attempts to answer an interesting research question: Is there an association between clicker question response times and final summative assessment grades?

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