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Not Much Can Happen in Just Twenty Minutes, Right?

cell phone and finger selecting something on the screen

Research (Benjamin, 2002; Bunce, Flens, & Neiles, 2010; Burns, 1985) suggests that the span of students’ attention can rapidly dwindle within a mere twenty minutes of a lecture, with some studies indicating an even shorter duration.

How do you engage your students, encourage active learning, and maintain their attention?
One option is the use of “clickers” (Demeke, 2023; Kim, 2022; Nejković & Andrejević, 2022) and asking low-stakes questions that engage all students in the roomwhile also obtaining immediate feedback on learning.

In recent years, we have seen an increase in faculty adopting “clickers” in their instruction. By leveraging students’ personal mobile devices, the majority of faculty eliminate the necessity for students to purchase physical clickers while also broadening the range of functionalities accessible to them.

Mobile devices like laptops, tablets, or cell phones can be used as a “clicker” device. Allowing students to use personal mobile devices reduces barriers due to the accessibility settings employed by the student and increases ease of use due to the device’s familiarity.

Benefits of using mobile devices:

  • Allows Location-Based Attendance using GPS.
  • Includes Hotspot questions that require students to select an “area” of an image.
  • Offers Short Answer, Numeric Response, and Essay questions.
  • Incorporates an attendance feature in PointSolutions Web.
  • Removes the need to use (and keep track of) a receiver.
  • Supports all modalities of instruction.

Additional Resources

OIT provides a Clickers Self-Service Training Resource as well as one-to-one consultations. If you have any clicker questions, please contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or visit our online service portal.