Opinion

Staff editorial: Clicking into class

Skipping class just got a tad bit harder for more than a half-million students on thousands of college campuses. Or not?

Imagine being assigned a palm-sized, wireless clicker for your classes. Not only would the device clock you in as present when you would walk into class, but you would be required to use numbered buttons on the clicker to answer multiple-choice quizzes.

Preliminary studies at institutions such as Harvard and Ohio State suggest that “engaging students in class through a device as familiar to them as a cellphone – there are even applications that convert iPads and Blackberrys into class-ready clickers – increases their understanding of material that may otherwise be conveyed in traditional lectures.”

Although these new clickers may engage students by preventing them from falling asleep, texting and Web surfing during class, there are several disadvantages to it.

Technology is constantly evolving and shaping our lives, and yes, the classroom is one of the areas where these changes will occur. However, as college students, we sure know how to outsmart technology and work our way around things. And, if we don’t know how, we’ll figure out a way.

What happens when students skip class, but their clickers make it? Meaning, one student can ask another to bring their clicker to class so he or she will not be counted absent. Or, how about when there is a quiz taking place and students just push the same button as their neighbor? These two scenarios demonstrate that using this new device can make cheating simpler and can push students away from attending class knowing that their presence relies on something as silly as a television remote.

With all this in mind, paying 30 to 70 dollars for a clicker on top of how much we pay for books and the use of these clickers does not seem to be the best method for teaching students. However, if teachers require their students to use them and believe they are truly effective, then they should use them knowing the risks that go along with them.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.


January 26, 2011

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

As bleak as it seems now for the University of Miami, the Canes can still take a repeat trip to Char ...

A half dozen takeaways from UM’s demoralizing 16-13 loss at Virginia on Saturday: ▪ As was the case ...

So, who’s the quarterback now? The No. 16 Miami Hurricanes came to Charlottesville on Saturday with ...

Home Truth, the story of Jessica Lenahan’s pursuit of more effective domestic violence laws, screene ...

Members of the UM community who want to donate to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Mi ...

The University of Miami’s Model UN is working to expand its membership and reputation with its first ...

During a keynote address at a conference in Los Angeles, entrepreneurial heavyweight Magic Leap anno ...

A colorless, odorless gas used by a UM scientist to study ocean currents helps save his vision. ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

The Canes have won five straight games and are 2-0 in the ACC, but they know they have a tough road ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.