Thursday, 8 September 2011

Clicker experimental study to measure learning difference between traditional and clicker sessions

What can be done to improve student engagement and learning in college lectures? One approach is

to ask questions that students answer during the lecture. In two lab experiments, students received a

25-slide PowerPoint lecture in educational psychology that included four inserted multiple-choice

questions (questioning group) or four corresponding statements (control group). Students in the

questioning group used a personal response system (PRS), in which they responded to questions

using a hand-held remote control, saw a graph displaying the percentage of students voting for each

answer, and heard the teacher provide an explanation for the correct answer. Students in the control

group received the corresponding slide as a statement and heard the teacher provide an explanation.

The questioning group outperformed the control group on a retention test in Experiment 1 (d¼1.23)

and on a transfer test in Experiment 2 (d¼0.74), but not on other tests. The results are consistent with

a generative theory of learning, and encourage the appropriate use of questioning as an instructional


Questioning as an Instructional Method: Does it Affect

Learning from Lectures?


University of California, Santa Barbara, USA


Appl. Cognit. Psychol. 23: 747–759 (2009)

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