Beyond Clickers: Enhancing Students' Engagement with the Use of Online Polling

Friday, 25 July 2014

Jennie Chang De Gagne, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, CNE
School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC
Jina Oh, RN, PhD
Department of Nursing, Inje University, Busan Jin-gu, South Korea

Active engagement can bring deeper understanding of knowledge and greater knowledge retention while stimulating higher cognitive processes and critical thinking skills (Conrad & Donaldson, 2004). Consequently, mastering the art of engaging students in the learning process is essential to successful learning outcomes (Bain, 2004). Clickers, also known as classroom response systems, are widely used across disciplines, and their effectiveness has been demonstrated in higher education (Bruff, 2009). The synthesis of the literature related to clickers in nursing, medicine, and allied health education identified that clickers have the unique capability not only to foster students’ satisfaction but also to enhance learner engagement and participation. That is, the main characteristics of clickers include: interactivity, active participation, learner satisfaction, formative assessment, and contingent teaching (De Gagne, 2011). Moving from in-classroom into online teaching technologies, nurse educators can generate equally effective learning outcomes from using clickers when utilizing web-based polling technologies in their online teaching. Although virtual polling is not new to education, it is one of the teaching strategies that can promote active learning and critical thinking in nursing students online. Nurse educators who teach online must understand the scope of available technologies and plan each course and session based on the instructional needs of the intended audience (De Gagne, 2011). In this presentation, various web-based polling technologies will be reviewed and discussed in a way of enhancing nursing students’ engagement in an online learning environment.