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Clickers, Student Engagement and Performance in an Introductory Economics Course: a Cautionary Tale

By Marianne Johnson and Denise Robson


We examine whether clickers affect learning in an introductory economics course when introduced on a limited 'quizzing' basis in a traditional lecture course. Based on early and end of semester surveys, we assess whether clickers are associated with changes in student course performance or changes in student engagement. Using an education production function that controls for student GPA, etc., we find no significant differences between the clicker and nonclicker sections in student attitudes toward attendance, participation or class engagement, nor do we find any difference in exam performance. We conclude instructors should be cautious patching new technologies into traditional lecture courses, and universities cautious in mandating technology use.

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