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The Clicker Technique: Cultivating Efficient Teaching and Successful Learning


Correspondence to: Lindsay S. Anderson, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.



The clicker technique is a newly developed system that uses frequent testing in the classroom to enhance students' understanding and provide feedback to students and teachers. Using a laboratory model of the clicker technique, Experiment 1 explored the effects of the clicker technique, via its potential for compressing learning time and its partially individualized instruction, on the acquisition, retention, and generalization of knowledge at immediate and delayed tests. Results supported the clicker technique as a viable method for instructors to promote generalizable learning and to conserve teaching time. Experiment 2 examined the clicker technique in terms of its components, studying and testing, to determine which components are crucial to its effectiveness. Results indicated that the combination of studying and testing promotes superior performance only during acquisition, relative to either studying or testing alone, and neither study, test, nor the combination of study and test led to a retention advantage. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.