Academic journal article International Education Studies

Using Clickers to Enhance Student Learning in Mathematics

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Using Clickers to Enhance Student Learning in Mathematics

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study was to determine how to integrate technology into mathematics classes using clickers in the high school setting. The ability to integrate technology into instruction is a current requirement for mathematics teachers in the United States; however, students have been traditionally taught to solve equations using pencils and paper. In addition to leveraging an understanding of the impact that using interactive Student Response System (SRS) have in helping students learn mathematics, this study also aimed to examine its effect on Special Education and English Language Learner (ELL) student learning outcome. 47 high school students who were enrolled in Geometry class were selected to participate in this study. Pre-tests and post-tests were conducted with both the trial and contrast groups of the study. The trial group contained all of the students in one period of Geometry class in which clickers were integrated into the classroom instruction. The contrast group contained all of the students in the same subject as the trial group but did not use clickers. The key elements of the study included having the technology available to the trial group throughout the entire learning process, having consistent participant groups, and having equal access to the materials presented to both groups. Based on the summative and informal assessment test scores, completion rates of class work and the teacher's observations, the research team concluded that for the students in the trial group, the use of clickers did improve the student learning outcome and class participation in mathematics compared to the contrast group. The test scores of Special Education and ELL students in both groups were also assessed for the clickers' impact on these students' learning. The results showed that the use of clickers had a positive impact as these students gained better test scores. These results align with the current research regarding technology integration in mathematics. Factors affecting the effective integration of technology such as teachers' use of clickers, types of questions teachers should ask and depth of technology integration will be discussed.

Keywords: interactive technology, clicker, mathematics, student response system (SRS), summative assessment, English Language Learners (ELL), special education

1. Significance of Problem

The main goal of a high school mathematics teacher is to motivate students to learn mathematics and help them to apply mathematics in their daily lives. In the article Waking The Dead: Using Interactive Technology To Engage Passive Listeners In The Classroom (Carlin & Guthrie, 2006), the authors conducted research on the use of clickers in adult education classroom settings, and determined it was worth the cost to invest in clickers for the classroom. Carlin and Guthrie's research showed that students were generally positive about clickers' use, and preferred courses that used the technology over those that did not. Their data revealed that student participation approached 100% in class sessions where clickers were used due in part to its anonymity, ease of use, and the ability for students to see how many others answered in the same way. Carlin and Guthrie's research focused on adult education. This study aimed to explore whether clickers produce the same result in a high school classroom setting. Public school districts spend huge amounts of money on technology in order to improve their school performance; however, mathematics and science are still the weakest subjects for most students. This study intended to investigate whether technology can help students' learning in mathematics, and how to integrate technology into mathematics class using clickers.

2. Research Questions/Anticipated Outcomes

To obtain a better understanding of the use of clickers in mathematics education, the following four research questions were developed.

(a) How should teachers use clickers in mathematics class? …

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