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Facilitation of Formative Assessments using Clickers in a University Physics Course

, Temple University, United States ; , LaSalle University, United States ; , , , Temple University, United States

IJELLO Volume 7, Number 1, ISSN 1552-2237 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


This study provides an empirical analysis of the integration of clickers, used to facilitate formative assessments, in a university physics course. The sample consisted of students from two consecutive semesters of the same physics course, where one group used clickers and the other did not. Data included pre- and post-attitudinal and behavioral surveys, physics and mathematics pre-tests, two course examinations, and one cumulative final examination. The clicker group completed seven clicker episodes (weekly multiple choice questions and in-class discussion of results). On average, students who participated in clicker episodes achieved significantly higher scores on the cumulative final examination compared to the other group. Regression analysis was used to control for differences among the students and to quantify the effect of clicker use. The regression results indicate that controlling for all of the entered variables, for every one more clicker episode the student responded to, the final grade was raised by 1.756 points. Thus, if a student took all seven of the “clicker quizzes,” the final grade would have been 12.3 points higher, a difference of a grade. Interestingly, how well the student did on these “clicker quizzes” never proved significant in the regression analyses. In an analysis of the residuals, grades were more important to those who performed better than expected as compared to those who performed less well than predicted. In sum, using clicker episodes appeared to result in improved achievement but more research is needed to support these findings.


Majerich, D., Stull, J., Varnum, S., Gilles, T. & Ducette, J. (2011). Facilitation of Formative Assessments using Clickers in a University Physics Course. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 7(1), 11-24. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved January 18, 2020 from .



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