The resolution of problems in seminars is subjected to several problems in terms of low student engagement and participation. To deal with this situation, teachers try to increase students’ participation with strategies based on discussions and questions such as hand raising, response cards, etc. However, with these traditional methods, students are usually very reticent to participate [1, 2]. In this context, the use of clickers can have a positive effect on collaborative learning and engagement [3]. They provide immediate knowledge about the results of a particular teaching tool, allowing a high degree of interactivity. Unfortunately, their use is restricted to institutions with high economic potential. However, the fact that nowadays almost every student owns a smartphone makes the use of response systems less restrictive. This circumstance makes the use of smartphones as clickers an interesting and instant way to check students´ learning. Given this background, the purpose of this work is to study the effect of using smartphones as free clickers in seminars to increase student participation, trying to eradicate the passive attitude of the students, creating a high degree of interactivity between the teacher and students.

An in-depth study is being carried out in four different groups having different number of students. Different questions are being posed to the students throughout the problem resolution process using two different methods. The former is a traditional method where the teacher asks the questions out loud and the students respond by raising their hands. The latter is a modern method, where the teacher uses a tablet connected to a projector. The questions are projected with up to four possible answers. The teacher´s tablet is synchronised with the students’ smartphones using question/answer free software, and the students anonymously respond to the questions using their own smartphones. Once all the students are answered an automatic feedback is given, plotting the correct answer and distribution of answers.

For all the questions, the active participation and the achievement are being measured. One-way analysis of variance will be used to compare the results obtained with the two methods. In addition, the number of students has also been considered as to study how and up to what extend student´s participation might be related to the number of students present in the classroom. The preliminary results seem to indicate that the use of smartphones as clickers significantly increases students´ engagement and learning.

The authors wish to express their gratitude to the University of Zaragoza for the project conceded (PIIDUZ_14_323). Furthermore, Javier Remón Núñez would like to express his gratitude to the Spanish MICINN for the FPI grant (BES- 2011-044856) awarded.

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[3] Blasco-Arcas L, Buil I, Hernández-Ortega B, Sese FJ. Using clickers in class. The role of interactivity, active collaborative learning and engagement in learning performance. Computers & Education. 2013;62:102-10.