Clickers Promote Learning: Chemistry

5.111
  • Chemistry (Course 5)
student clicker winners in 5.111 (MIT News photo: Sam Kazar)

Faculty/Instructor: 

Catherine Drennan

Digital Innovations & Tools: 

  • Active Learning

Personal Response Systems (PRS) allow students to respond in real-time to questions presented in class, e.g. during lectures. Similar in shape to a credit card, 'clickers' allow students to answer questions at the press of a button, which are then recorded and displayed, either for the teacher or the entire class.

Clickers have been employed creatively by the Drennan Research & Education Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. In a semester-long game in 5.111 Chemistry, 25-student recitation teams contest for the most 'clicker wins' to obtain the championship. Chemistry students reporting learning gains due to clicker usage increased from 73 to 86 percent, and the number agreeing they enjoyed clickers rose to 74%. Learn more about Freshman "chemistry clicker" champions.