Clickers - Personal Response
Systems (PRS) in University
Using interactive technology
to promote active
engagement in the library
Course objectives and the use of
Final Class Outcomes
Key Lessons Learned
What’s next ?
Have you used clickers? (… please
raise your hand if yes …)
Some reasons we decided to give
them a try …
Course objectives and the use
of “clicker” technology
Engage student learning
Increase classroom participation
Provoke deep thinking about
contemporary issues facing managers
Promote collaborative learning and
knowledge sharing in the class and
Potential Pedagogical Benefits
Library Component –
Encourages two-way communication
in large enrolment classes
Encourages greater student
Fosters student engagement
Streamlines assessment process
Library Component - Goals
Promote not Teach
We employed the technology not to transfer actual skills, but to
advertise the existence of online library guides and promote the
use of the library within the context of existing coursework.
We used the PRS technology to quiz students on library use and
research styles, and “market” library resources interactively.
Provoke not Tell
Sessions were quick, focused, and aimed at piquing the
students’ interest in library research.
The library sessions reflected the instructor’s teaching pedagogy
and “modus opporandi” of provocation.
Actual student research practices
Quizzed students regarding library use mid-way through the term
and at the end of the term to shed light on actual practices and
What do you think so far?
Interesting – tell me more
Boring – try and keep me awake
I’m somewhat intrigued and willing to
I wish I was walking my dog
Library Component - Structure
Series of questions
To explore current research practices
To provoke thought about different
avenues for research
Used humour to engage
Created tag - “dog,” as a reminder
Study and Sample Questions
400 students (2 groups of 200 each) were
asked a series of questions regarding
research practices and library use
Research and library related questions were
asked three times during the 2006 Fall term
– at the beginning, middle (wk 8), and end.
Following are 3 sets of questions we asked
in the first meeting.
How do you do research?
I ask my friends questions.
I go wander around the library.
I talk to my dog.
I ask a librarian for help.
How will you start the research for
your Business Plan Project?
I will talk with friends about it.
I will attend a library workshop.
I will browse the library website.
I will review course materials.
I will consult with my dog.
Do you know how to use the
I think so …
My dog does
Do you like the questions that I
asked the students?
Funny, but I can be funnier
I’ll ask my dog and get back to you
The majority of students do their research in the
library (30-33%), or by consulting with friends (23-
Students begin their research by reviewing course
materials (33-44%) or by consulting with friends (28
While over half of the students have not used the
business library, 39-46% believed they could do so
After this introductory session 63-69% planned to
use the library for their research and 56-59%
wanted more information about how to do business
By the mid-term, close to half of the
class had not started their research
and 70-78% were NOT using library
The vast majority were finding the
research process either “very difficult”
(27-33%) or “hard but not impossible”
What we did at this point
At mid-term we provided a brief tutorial/in
class instruction period for the students.
Students were invited to ask the librarian
their research questions and they were
answered on the spot, including database
After the mid-term session the library had
such a rush of students, the librarians called
to ask us what was going on.
Emerging Patterns and Final
The majority of the students did their
research by asking questions of friends or
asking a librarian
The overwhelming majority of students did
use the library
Only half of the students actually asked a
librarian for help finding information and 50-
75% found this information useful
After this experience a large majority of the
students plan to use the library in the future
What do you think of the study
Interesting, but I’m not surprised
Boring - same old, same old
Some intriguing results - I would like to
use the technology myself
Explore peer learning initiatives (tablets?)
Involve additional librarians to provide online
assistance via classroom software (moodle)
Provide additional library instruction at mid-term
Reiterated the importance of reminding students of
the library and the help of librarians throughout the
term, not just at the beginning of classes.
Final Class Outcomes
Engaged student learning
Increased classroom participation
Provoked deep thinking about contemporary
issues facing managers and leaders
Promoted collaborative learning and
knowledge sharing in the class and online
Side benefits for Schulich … “participation”
Key Lessons Learned
Technology can be intrusive
Understand the impact on teaching i.e. set
up preparation; time for responses
Prepare students for patterns of use
Vary the types of questions
Participation definitely increases – be ready
It’s fun to work on collaborative research!