Teaching faculty about effective use of clickers #clickers

by Stephanie Chasteen on September 13, 2011

I’ve been working for the past several years to figure out the best ways to teach faculty about how to use clickers effectively; to engage students, ask questions that get students thinking, and to use peer discussion to help students work together to learn from the questions.  It’s not always easy.  Recent research has shown that a lot of faculty, at least in physics, get really fired up about using clickers (by hearing Eric Mazur speak, for example, or perhaps by attending a talk or workshop like what I give), but then they go home to try it, and it all falls apart.  Motivating faculty to use new teaching techniques isn’t the issue, it seems.  They want to try new teaching methods, and see the value of interactive questioning during lecture.  But there are a lot of little things that go into making clickers work with your students — such as creating student buy-in by explaining why you’re using clickers, showing students that you value the discussion around the questions and modeling that discussion, and providing proper incentive for engaging in this activity.

So, I’ve been putting together faculty workshops (and K12 as well) to teach educators about effective use of the tool, and trying to figure out the best ways to do so such that faculty have a high chance of success in using clickers when they return to their institution and try it.  I’ll be sharing the results of this work in a free webinar in October, specifically aimed at others who work with faculty and teach them about effective questioning and clickers.  Consider joining us, to get some new ideas and to share your own.

Here’s the full announcement:


Teaching Faculty about Effective Clicker Use

Time: Tuesday, October 4th, 1pm EST
Register at http://iclicker.com/newsandevents/events/
Note: Want the recording?  You’ll get a download link after the session if you register.

Geared specifically for those involved in faculty development and support (e.g., instructional technologists, faculty excellence programs, or other faculty professional developers), this webinar will cover best practices in helping faculty to use clickers to enhance their teaching.  The webinar presenter has been creating faculty professional development materials around clicker use for years, and will share tips and techniques — many based on research — for helping faculty to see the potential power of this technology and learn to implement it effectively. Webinar components will include:  (1) best practices in clicker use, (2) resources available for faculty learning to use clickers, (3) research-based techniques for faculty development around clickers, and (4) working with faculty resistance and alleviating frustration.  HIghly recommended:  Watch “Make Clickers Work for You” webinar recording at  http://theactiveclass.com/speaking-events/ prior to this webinar, and/or the video “How to use clickers effectively” at http://STEMvideos.colorado.edu.

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