Clickers in the large classroom: current research and best-practice tips

CBE Life Sci Educ. 2007 Spring;6(1):9-20. doi: 10.1187/cbe.06-12-0205.


Audience response systems (ARS) or clickers, as they are commonly called, offer a management tool for engaging students in the large classroom. Basic elements of the technology are discussed. These systems have been used in a variety of fields and at all levels of education. Typical goals of ARS questions are discussed, as well as methods of compensating for the reduction in lecture time that typically results from their use. Examples of ARS use occur throughout the literature and often detail positive attitudes from both students and instructors, although exceptions do exist. When used in classes, ARS clickers typically have either a benign or positive effect on student performance on exams, depending on the method and extent of their use, and create a more positive and active atmosphere in the large classroom. These systems are especially valuable as a means of introducing and monitoring peer learning methods in the large lecture classroom. So that the reader may use clickers effectively in his or her own classroom, a set of guidelines for writing good questions and a list of best-practice tips have been culled from the literature and experienced users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Educational Technology*
  • Faculty*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Learning*
  • Marketing / trends
  • Students*
  • Teaching / methods*