iClicker technology shown to have little benefit in HEQCO study

March 27, 2014

A recent study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) finds that the use of iclickers, which allow instructors to receive real-time responses from students during lectures, in an undergraduate course at McMaster University did not improve students’ understanding of course concepts or influence test grades. The test group was an Introductory Psychology class of 3,000 students, who were given 3 different teaching methods: a traditional lecture; a pen and paper lecture, where students wrote down answers to questions to be posted the day before each quiz; and iclicker lectures, where TAs were able to provide students with the results immediately. Students did not enjoy using the iclickers, and very few students recommended their use, explains HEQCO. “Not having enough time to learn how to use the technology properly, students were more focused on the iclicker itself, than on the concepts being taught,” the authors report. The report recommends that iclickers be used regularly or not at all, citing the amount of time required to set them up. HEQCO Summary | Full Report