Using Kahoot/Clickers

Do you want quick feedback from the students to see if you have gotten your points across? Or do you want more student engagement? Kahoot or clickers are possible tools to make it happen.

Kahoot, clickers or student response tools, are either smart phones or polling systems used to pose multiple choice questions during a lecture and get immediate feedback when the students answer. A lot of the literature on clickers is based on students reporting on their own experience, but a few studies have done small experiments to see whether use of clickers give better examination results, that is increased learning.

It is not the use of clickers in itself that has an effect. Clickers can increase learning if they are part of facilitating processes that increase learning, such as student activity giving the students opportunities to reflect on what they have learned, control their own understanding or monitor their own learning process, or just for the lecturer to test whether the students have understood enough before moving on to the newx part (see Kay and LeSage, 2009, for an overview). Clickers can also be used to facilitate group activities and peer-teaching (Dunne and Ryan, 2012).

Clickers is just one of several tools that can be applied to achieve this effect in the classroom. There are examples of studies demonstrating that simply asking the question and then providing the answers in the same way as if using clickers can have a similar effect (Anthis, 2011). Take a moment to reflect upon what you want to achieve by using clickers, and whether other tools may be as or even more suitable for your ends.

Anthis, K. (2011). "Is it the clicker, or is it the question? Untangling the effects of student response system use." Teaching of Psychology 38(3): 189-193.               

Dunne, J. and B. Ryan (2012). Harnessing technology to make learning (and teaching) more fun. Proceedings of the International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy, Dublin December 14th.               

Kay, R. H. and A. LeSage (2009). "Examining the benefits and challenges of using audience response systems: A review of the literature." Computers & Education 53(3): 819-827.