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UCD TEACHING AND LEARNING / Projects
Module Enhancement
Student Response Systems in Macroeconomics
Student Response System Project
Project: Student Response Systems in Macroeconomics
Project Team: Paul Surgenor, Sara O'Sullivan, Ciara Whelan, Frank Walsh, Ivan Pastine
Collaborator(s): School of Economics & College of Human Sciences

Funding:

Part-funded by the Strategic Innovation Fund II, part-funded by the College of Human Sciences

Timeline:

2009-2010
Student Response System Project
background:

Demand for Stage 1 Macroeconomics has resulted in classes of up to 500 students. There is a danger that students in such large classes could  become passive recipients of knowledge rather than active learners.  Student Response Systems (or ‘clickers’) have been used successfully across a range of subjects to increase engagement, stimulate discussion, and facilitate a deeper approach to learning. This project allows the purchase and use of clickers in one large Stage 1 Macroeconomics module.

Student Response System Project
goals:

Research has suggested that two major components of active learning include self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. The aim of this project is to increase student engagement in the lectures, as measured by frequency of participation and levels of self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation.

Student Response System Project
Methods:

This project will integrate student response system technology with a re-designed curriculum to increase opportunities for student engagement. Using their clickers students will be asked to respond to a small number of questions designed to prompt discussion, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the material. Students are therefore involved throughout the lecture, and the topics are introduced and discussed in an interesting and innovative manner

Student Response System Project
Results:

The project was very successful in implementing the technology in a large module. It provided lecturers with a previously unheralded level of interaction with their students and also had the unexpected advantage of providing students with more control over their learning environment by allowing them to establish ground rules in relation to laptop use and noise levels etc. It also highlighted the importance of adapting teaching methods to maximise the impact of the technology, and the possibility for more student-centred approaches to teaching large groups.

Student Response System Project
Next Steps:

There has been considerable interest in the use of clickers through the college, and other teachers are learning from the experiences of those involved in this project. Several involved have also written about and disseminated their experiences at international conferences.