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Clickers versus Plickers: Comparing Two Audience Response Systems in a Smartphone-Free Teaching Environment





This study compared the performance of two audience response systems (ARSs) without students requiring smartphone technology or Internet access during problem-based learning (PBL) activities. Clicker handsets linked to a radio frequency (RF) receiver and paper voting cards, known as Plickers, which display a QR code (two-dimensional barcode) that can be captured by the instructor using a standard camera on a tablet device, represent two audience response platforms that allow students to vote in classrooms where smartphones are prohibited. Following regular usage of both by 157 first-year undergraduates, the proportion of the cohort voting with each polling platform was compared across 65 polling events as a measure of student compliance and engagement, and by deduction ARS performance. Results from this study showed that both clickers and Plickers achieved satisfactory cohort compliance rates of 87.22% and 78.26%, respectively. Anonymous student survey data overwhelming favored the clicker handsets over the Plicker voting cards, which was, in part, justified by clicker usage being more self-explanatory than that of Plickers; however, from an instructor’s perspective, both voting platforms adequately captured the level of students’ understanding during interactive sessions where problem-solving opportunities were embedded while maintaining a smartphone-free environment.

Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2020
Publication Date Aug 11, 2020
Journal Journal of Chemical Education
Print ISSN 0021-9584
Publisher American Chemical Society
Pages 2342-2346
Keywords First-Year Undergraduate/General, Laboratory Instruction, Organic Chemistry, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Acids/Bases, Chirality/Optical Activity, Nomenclature, Reactions, Reactive Intermediates
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