Clickers are the common term for Student Response System (SRS), a technology used to promote active learning in classrooms. The system allows groups of people to vote on a topic, take a survey or answer a question. The responses are tabulated and displayed back to the participants. Student Response Systems have been around for several decades but have gained increasing popularity in educational classrooms in recent years.
These systems are not only used in education but also used in other settings, such as the television industry and within corporations as a conference/meeting utility. There is no standard term for this technology; consequently it is referred to by several different terms and acronyms by manufacturers and in news and research articles. For consistency within this documentation the terms Student Response Systems, SRS or clickers are used. Recent research on student SRS found using clickers in the classroom had a measurable impact on students in the following areas:
- Attendance – Students who know they will be assessed attendance points via clicker input are more likely to show up for class.
- Preparation for Class – Students come to class more prepared for quizzes and with completed homework.
- Enthusiasm – Improved atmosphere in the classroom and increased student enthusiasm for learning.
- Attentiveness – Students will stay more attentive and focused throughout the entire class as questions are posed and answered.
- Participation – Reaches all learners, even quiet or shy students have a voice, so the entire class can participate in the lesson.
- Confidence in Learning – Students can answer questions more confidently when there is no stigma of being incorrect.
- Student Understanding – By seeing their answers compared to others, students can gauge their understanding of the material and focus their review.
- Collaboration – Clicker activities such as polling questions, stimulates discussion among students, allowing them to interact with each other.
- Active Learning – Interaction and participation in collaborative discussions increases student engagement, and their level of activity in the learning process.