Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Sherry Herron

Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 2

Dr. J.T. Johnson

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Rejoice Mudzimiri

Committee Member 3 Department

Mathematics

Committee Member 4

Dr. Taralynn Hartsell

Committee Member 4 Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 5

Dr. Deborah Booth

Committee Member 5 Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Abstract

The advancement in technology integration is laying the groundwork of a paradigm shift in the higher education system (Noonoo, 2011). The National Dropout Prevention Center (n.d.) [JS1] claims that technology offers some of the best opportunities for presenting instruction to engage students in meaningful education, addressing multiple intelligences, and adjusting to students’ various learning styles. The purpose of this study was to investigate if implementing clicker technology would have a statistically significant difference on student retention and student achievement, while controlling for learning styles, for students in non-major biology courses who were and were not subjected to the technology. This study also sought to identify if students perceived the use of clickers as beneficial to their learning. A quantitative quasi-experimental research design was utilized to determine the significance of differences in pre/posttest achievement scores between students who participated during the fall semester in 2014. Overall, 118 students (n = 118) voluntarily enrolled in the researcher’s fall non-major Biology course at a southern community college. A total of 71 students were assigned to the experimental group who participated in instruction incorporating the ConcepTest Process with clicker technology along with traditional lecture. The remaining 51 students were assigned to the control group who participated in a traditional lecture format with peer instruction embedded.

Statistical analysis revealed the experimental clicker courses did have higher posttest scores than the non-clicker control courses, but this was not significant (p >.05). Results also implied that clickers did not statistically help retain students to complete the course. Lastly, the results indicated that there were no significant statistical difference in student’s clicker perception scores between the different learning style preferences.

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