Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of Cognitive Processes Underlying Clicker Use in STEM Education

Principal Investigator: 
Co-Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

This project investigates an innovative approach to the teaching and the learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, known as the clicker technique. This technique involves polling students with multiple-choice questions interspersed throughout a class period. This project addresses how training principles from cognitive psychology and their quantitative expression apply to the clicker technique and inform its use.

Setting: 

University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

Research Design: 

The project will generate causal evidence using an experimental research design. Original data are being collected on undergraduate students taking courses in introductory psychology or statistics using assessments of learning. Instruments or measures being used include (a) in-class tests developed by the researchers; (b) in-class questions developed by the researchers; and (c) laboratory analogs of the above. Mixed factorial analyses of variance, correlations, and mathematical modeling will be employed.

Findings: 

Findings have been generated from our preliminary experiments, and we are collecting additional experimental data.

Publications & Presentations: 

Anderson, L. S., Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). Conserving time in the classroom: The clicker technique. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1457-1462. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2011.593264