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INTRODUCTION OF “PERSONAL RESPONSE SYSTEMS” (CLICKERS) FOR TEACHING ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LA LAGUNA

J. Hernández-Borges, V. Pino-Estévez

University of La Laguna (SPAIN)
Personal Response Systems (PRS) also popularly known as “clickers”, are digital units that transfer to the professor’s computer the students’ answers to multiple choice questions (the most frequent) that are displayed on a screen. Both anonymous responses or assignation of a single device to a specific student can be selected. These relatively new devices can either be used at different educational levels (college, university, etc) with different objectives such as serving as exams, evaluation tools during class, as immediate feedback on understanding, etc.
In this work, the results of the introduction of PRS as a complementary tool in teaching “Introduction to Experimental Analytical Chemistry” of the second course of the degree in Chemistry, are presented. Several sessions with PRS have been designed and evaluated at different stages of the subject and compared with similar sessions developed in the virtual-classroom. Assignation of a single device to a specific student was selected as the best strategy to evaluate PRS performance. In general, a good participation of the students (critical thinking, interactivity, etc) was observed as well as an increase in the learning performance. Attitudes towards this innovative experience in our faculty reported that students and/or professors had positive perceptions of the technology for teaching Chemistry at the University level and thus, further experiences on the application of PRS in Chemistry are highly recommended.