Evidence for teaching practice: the impact of clickers in a large classroom environment

Nurse Educ Today. 2010 Oct;30(7):603-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2009.12.008. Epub 2009 Dec 30.


As the number of nursing students increases, the ability to actively engage all students in a large classroom is challenging and increasingly difficult. Clickers, or student response systems (SRS), are a relatively new technology in nursing education that use wireless technology and enable students to select individual responses to questions posed to them during class. The study design was a quasi-experimental comparison with one section of an adult medical-surgical course using the SRS and one receiving standard teaching. No significant differences between groups on any measure of performance were found. Focus groups were conducted to describe student perceptions of SRS. Three themes emerged: Being able to respond anonymously, validating an answer while providing immediate feedback, and providing an interactive and engaging environment. Although the clickers did not improve learning outcomes as measured by objective testing, perceptions shared by students indicated an increased degree of classroom engagement. Future research needs to examine other potential outcome variables.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / instrumentation*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Educational Technology / instrumentation
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation*