Learner response systems: The effects on course level retention and learner success in a community college business microcomputer applications course
Karen L. Acree, New Mexico State University, United States
New Mexico State University . Awarded
A mixed method study was conducted to evaluate the effects of clicker use on retention rates, success rates as measured by final grades, and improvement from pretest to posttest scores in a community college business microcomputer applications course. Learner perceptions towards clicker use were also evaluated.
The study group consisted of learners enrolled in COSC125 business microcomputer applications. Learners self-selected into one of four sections, which were then randomly assigned to either the treatment or control group. Each group received identical instruction including the use of questioning techniques and peer instruction activities. The treatment group responded to these questions using clickers and the control group responded by raising their hands or with a verbal response. A total of 79 learners elected to participate in the semester long study, 41 in the treatment group and 38 in the control group.
Data was collected using learner retention statistics for those learners who were enrolled on census day and still enrolled after the final drop date. Final grades were used to determine learner success, which was defined as completing the course with a grade of C (70%) or better. Improvements from pretest to posttest scores were also measured. Finally, a learner perception questionnaire was administered to those learners in the treatment group.
The learner perception was that the use of clickers helped learners to understand the material, earn better grades, and participate more in the classroom. These perceptions were not supported by statistics which showed no statistical significance between the treatment and control groups in course-level retention, learner success, or improvement in pretest to posttest scores.
This study used questioning techniques and peer instruction activities as formative assessment tools supported by the use of clickers in the treatment group. The findings of this study suggest that the pedagogical practices of the facilitator are the key to learner understanding and success, rather than the use of any particular technology.
Acree, K.L. Learner response systems: The effects on course level retention and learner success in a community college business microcomputer applications course. Ph.D. thesis, New Mexico State University. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/122544/.
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