Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Alice F Healy

Second Advisor

Lyle E Bourne Jr

Third Advisor

Matthew C Jones

Abstract

The clicker technique is a newly developed system that uses frequent testing in the classroom to enhance students’ understanding and provide feedback to them. Under the clicker technique, instructors can use the performance of a class on clicker questions to determine whether or not information covered by the clicker questions needs further teaching, thus presenting itself as a potential method of conserving teaching time by dropping information known by a large portion of a group from future teaching time. Three experiments compared fact learning under the clicker technique, via its tendency to compress teaching time and its partially individualized instruction, to fact learning under other repeated testing possibilities, such as dropout and full-study procedures. Experiment 1 explored initial fact acquisition under the clicker technique, Experiment 2 explored the durability of knowledge acquired under the clicker technique on both immediate and delayed tests, and Experiment 3 explored the durability and generalizability of knowledge acquired under the clicker technique on both immediate and delayed tests. Overall, results support the clicker technique as a viable method for promoting efficient and generalizable learning while compressing teaching time without sacrifice of amount learned.

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