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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Yıl 2011 , Cilt 12 , Sayı 2

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University of Central Florida1, University of the Pacific2
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The use of Audience Response Systems, commonly called "clickers," has grown in recent years as instructors have discovered the dual benefits of interaction and accountability when teaching large classes. Caldwell (2007) has shown that "these systems are especially valuable as a means of introducing and monitoring peer learning methods". MacArthur and Jones (2008) have found that students generally have a positive attitude towards clickers, as well as research indicates measureable increases in learning through the use of collaborative response systems. Without clickers, enforcing accountability may still be possible through the use of online quizzes, but interaction remains difficult to implement. One of more obvious problems is the chaotic noise that results with verbal communication, but more subtle dangers lurk as well, such as reaching students who normally hesitate to volunteer, especially in large class settings. One business model using clickers generally involves students purchasing a handheld device (often in the $20-$25 range) and then also paying $20 or more to activate the device for the current semester. Students register the device on the company Web site, and the instructor synchronizes the database in order to know which students have registered devices, thus creating accountability for "quizzes" in class. During the lecture, students "vote" for multiple choice answers on screen, and real-time results are displayed (anonymously) after the polling is finished, providing instant formative feedback.

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