Hand-held electronic devices called clickers are helping college students learn physics, according to a series of research studies.
Ohio State University students who used the devices to answer multiple-choice questions during physics lectures earned final examination scores that were around 10 percent higher – the equivalent of a full-letter grade — than students who didn’t.
The clickers also appear to level the playing field between male and female students. In clicker classes, male and female students performed equally well. In the traditional, non-clicker classes, male students outperformed female students.
What this seems to do is make it easy for teachers to run spot quizzes and immediate reviews of the material they just taught. The “clicker” is a nice tool for that, especially in a huge faceless lecture with hundreds of students, but that seems to me to say more about the huge faceless lecture as a teaching method than about cute new technology.