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Using Instructional Technology to Promote Active Learning

Audience Response System

The Audience Response System (clickers) has been on the college campus for several years and many instructional ideas have developed as a result. Derek Bruff at Vanderbilt University has written a book about using clickers, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments and maintains a blog on the topic. Clickers are a great way to check for student understanding on a concept during the class. For more information about implementing clickers in your classroom, contact Richard Rice at or 257-5866.


Some faculty are now using Twitter, with some other free tools, to allow for student comments and questions during class. This process involves creating a Twitter account and having students create one as well along with a group for the course.  During class, students can post their thoughts or questions about the topic on Twitter for the instructor or TA to read. The instructor may find out that a particular point was confusing for the students and revise the information. Some students may prefer this method instead of asking a question for the class to hear. To successfully implement Twitter as a part of a classroom, it is necessary to practice with the tools quite a bit and to have ground rules for appropriate postings. Here is a video about how Twitter was incorporated in a course at the University of Texas. Twitter is not supported by the university.