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The 2009 ASHS Annual Conference

Clickers In the Classroom: Student Perceptions and Prior Knowledge In a Home Horticulture Course

Monday, July 27, 2009: 9:00 AM
Laclede (Millennium Hotel St. Louis)
Cynthia Haynes, PhD, Horticulture, Iowa State Unviersity, Ames, IA
Jennifer Diers, PhD, Education, Central College, Pella, IA
Personal response devices or clickers have been shown to be a useful tool in interacting with students in a large lecture.  In fall of 2007 and spring of 2008 clickers were used in Home Horticulture (Hort. 121) at Iowa State University to determine the perceptions, opinions, and prior knowledge of undergraduate students on gardening.  Fifty four students were enrolled in the class in fall of 2007 and 49 students were enrolled in spring 2008.  Both group and individual clicker responses were recorded using Turning Point™ software.  Students also participated in a printed pre- and post-survey on their perceptions of clicker use in the classroom. 

Students were of diverse backgrounds with 44% and 77% being majors outside the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2007 and 2008, respectively).  Many students taking the class had limited knowledge and experience of horticulture and gardening practices prior to the class. For example, 54% of respondents stated they had little or no experience or confidence in pruning plants in the landscape.    Data from the post survey indicates that over 70% of respondents agreed that the use of clicker technologies is beneficial to classroom learning.  In addition, over 80% of respondents agreed that clickers make classroom learning more fun and engaging.

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