Using student response systems in special education teacher preparation programs

Learning Disabilities Association
Dorel, T. & Allen, M.
Presentation Date: 
Monday, February 18, 2013
Event or Conference: 
50th Learning Disabilities Association Annual International Conference
Presentation Type: 
Paper Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
San Antonio, TX
United States
Students, particularly those that are non-traditional and first time in college students, often are intimidated in the university classroom regarding elicited responses. Too often, a limited number of students participate in classroom discussion, leaving the rest of the students to learn vicariously. A student response system allows for anonymity of responses while also allowing the faculty member to analyze material being presented for understanding. This presentation looks specifically at the preparation for teacher certification exams while utilizing the student response system integrating potential questions within curricular instructional strategies. Questions are posed, and responses are collected. Dialogue regarding the rationale of answers is then embarked upon connecting learned concepts with professional experiences and scenarios increasing relevancy, student engagement, and professor role modeling of effective teaching practices. Increasing student engagement is essential for students to apply and retain knowledge of special education practices that translate into effective practices in the field of special education, which directly impacts students with special needs. Student response systems have been widely used in sciences and mathematics preparation. This presentation will exemplify how students are using the technology to prepare for their state teaching certification exams, and how they increase student participation in special education teacher preparation programs. Additionally, by removing the stigma of students raising their hand, this can be an effective tool for students who struggle academically or have an identified disability to actively participate in class. The use of student response systems, or “clickers”, in the classroom has been widely researched. Bojinova and Oigara (2011) report that students who use clickers indicate that the use of the technology increased the students’ degree of engagement, learning, and motivation. Edens (2006) found that student response systems influence students’ participation and active engagement in the classroom. In a study by Stowell, Oldham, and Bennett (2010), the use of a student response system allowed students who were “shy” to overcome the risk of conformity in class discussions and respond with greater variance than of those students who did not participate utilizing the student response system.