Published: Feb. 21, 2016

iClickerHow might we integrate academic technologies based on students’ learning needs and validation? The students have spoken! We asked them to comment on the coolest technologies faculty use in our fall Learning with Technology Survey. By far, the most frequently mentioned cool tech was Clickers. Students described a diversity of ways Clickers are used on campus. Individuals commented they feel good when they get an answer correct, they appreciate being able to check their understanding on questions that aren’t easy, and being polled for their opinions. In one student’s words: “The clicker questions serve as a nice way to check that you understand what's going on, while breaking any misconceptions about the material before they've become cemented in your mind.” In our parallel Teaching with Technology Survey, more than half of A&S faculty and GPTIs reported in they don’t yet use Clickers in class. However, about 25% of faculty participants indicated Clickers are a top priority for them to learn more about. Additionally, over half of faculty are prioritizing learning more about tools that allow students to raise comments and questions, like Padlet and TodaysMeet. These exciting trends indicate CU Boulder students and faculty are aligned in wanting to use Clickers and other technologies to boost the levels of engagement and interaction in their classes. Clicker and Padlet (among others) make it possible for students in any size course to respond to challenging questions, discuss their reasoning with others, receive instant feedback on their ideas, and become aware of the diversity of their peers’ ideas. When faculty use technologies to promote such interactions, students go beyond understanding material -- they make progress to additional learning goals, like developing well-reasoned arguments. Students’ other favorite “cool techs” were D2L, recorded lectures, PhET simulations, and videos. In total, 107 different technologies were given kudos by students -- a testament to the highly creative and diverse ways campus faculty are using academic technologies.