UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improve classroom interaction and collaboration using i>clicker Shi, Junhao


The i>clicker student response system is used to answer multiple-choice questions in university classrooms across North America. We investigated how existing i>clicker remotes could be used to improve classroom interaction and collaboration by developing and using custom software applications, each targeted at a different aspect of classroom interaction, that augment basic i>clicker capability. Java-based software was written to replace the vendor-provided driver for the i>clicker base station that controls initialization, starting voting, requesting votes, stopping voting, and updating the LCD display on the base station. WebClicker extends voting to commonly-used digital devices (cell phone, smart phone, tablet, and laptop) using a cloud-based architecture that forwards votes to a client application. Three client applications were developed. Each connects to either the Java-based driver or WebClicker to obtain votes. These extended the power of the standard i>clicker software. It supports most existing features, such as multiple-choice questions, but additionally features per-group visualization of voting outcomes, state-specific interpretation of individual student’s votes, and other features not in the vendor-provided software. Clic^in provides additional pedagogical support so students can practice newly-obtained skills in the class. It embeds “gamelets” that have content-specific behavior that can be played individually, or by an entire class, or in parallel by groups to support concept demonstration, class-wide participation and group competition. Finally, Selection Tool allows students to control projected material in the classroom through slide navigation and content highlighting. Two usability experiments were conducted. One investigated cognitive load when using an i>clicker remote to interact with a gamelet that illustrates binary search tree insertion. The remote was slower and more error-prone than a mouse-based interface, but the difference is probably acceptable in a classroom setting. Both interaction time and error-rate decreased as participants gained practice. A second experiment compared Selection Tool with a mouse for content highlighting. Again the i>clicker was slower and more error-prone than a mouse, and it was difficult to correctly highlight smaller targets, but the ability to use an i>clicker for this task shows promise.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International