A CASE STUDY EXPLORING THE USE OF STUDENT RESPONSE SYSTEMS IN STEM-BASED SECONDARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
Student response systems (SRSs), also known as audience response systems, classroom response systems and clickers, allow students to answer electronically displayed multiple choice and open-ended questions. SRSs can be hardware (e.g., physical device) or software-based (e.g., mobile apps). Typically, all responses are instantly presented, in chart form, then reviewed and discussed by the instructor and the class. Considerable research has been conducted on the use of SRSs in higher education (Boscardin & Penuel, 2012; Han, 2014; Hunsu, 2016; Kay & Lesage, 2009; Landrum, 2015). The results suggest that SRSs increase engagement, participation, feedback for students, and learning. However, limited research has been conducted on the use of SRSs in high school environments. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of SRSs in STEM-based secondary school classrooms.
Twenty STEM-focused secondary school teachers with 1 to 32 years of teaching experience participated in this study. After 3 months of integrating SRSs in their classrooms, all teachers completed a survey, responded to open-ended questions, and participated in hour-long focus groups. The survey results indicated that SRSs were effective with respect to introducing new concepts, generating discussion, and checking for understanding before, during and at the end of class. Open-ended and focus group responses noted that SRSs consistently increased attention, focus, engagement, participation, and better-quality review for tests. Suggestions offered by teachers include taking time to prepare for and practice with using the technology and creating thoughtful, well-organized questions. Finally, a number of teachers reported that feedback from SRSs helped improve the quality of their teaching.
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