Regular Session, i>Clicker and On-Line Tutorials: Exploring Student Experiences and Learning Outcomes with Emerging Learning Technologies

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Sheri Fabian and Barry Cartwright, School of Criminology

Project team: Aynsley Pescitelli, Rahul Sharma and Colleen Pawlychka, research assistants

Timeframe: January to October 2013

Funding: $9,743  

Courses addressed:

  • CRIM 101 – Introduction to Criminology
  • CRIM 104 – Sociological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behavior
  • CRIM 131 – Introduction to the Criminal Justice System – A Total Systems Approach
  • CRIM 300 – Current Theories and Perspectives in Criminology
  • CRIM 321 – Qualitative Research Methods in Criminology

Final report: View Sheri and Barry's final project report (PDF).

From the final report: "Consistent with student responses to this on-line survey, on-line tutorials will be added to both the regular session version and the on-line and distance education versions of Criminology 101. Clicker technology will be retained for the two hour lecture segment of the regular session version of Criminology 101, and is being considered for the two hour lecture segments of the regular session versions of Criminology 104 and 131." Read more >>

Description: In Fall 2009, the School of Criminology replaced regular session tutorials in Criminology 101 with i>Clicker tutorials. Unlike regular session tutorials, these 50 minute i>Clicker tutorials are conducted in the same lecture theatre immediately following the 2 hour lecture with the entire class in attendance. In Fall 2011, the School of Criminology replaced regular session tutorials in Criminology 104 and Criminology 131 with on-line tutorials.  These 50-minute on-line tutorials are delivered entirely on-line and can be taken at any time and from any computer with an Internet connection, during the one-week period that they are open. Course evaluations completed by students at the end of each term indicated that these alternative learning technologies have been well received by those students who have taken the time to comment. However, course evaluations did not specifically require the students to comment on tutorial format or the type of tutorial they would prefer.  In fact, many students do not offer any comments regarding tutorials in the course evaluations.

This two phase project will invite students who were enrolled in the Fall 2012 and those who are enrolled in the Spring 2013 offerings of Criminology 101 (i>Clicker tutorials), Criminology 104 (on-line tutorials) and Criminology 131 (on-line tutorials) to complete an on-line survey regarding their perceptions of and experiences with regular session, on-line and i>Clicker tutorials. We will also ask the students enrolled in the Spring 2013 offerings of Criminology 300 and Criminology 321 to participate in the survey, because they will all, by definition, have had firsthand experience with regular tutorials in these two classes, and most will have had personal experience with i>Clicker tutorials or online tutorials, or both.  Invitations to participate in the on-line survey will be sent out by email, using the class lists from present and previous courses. This study will evaluate student perceptions of the effectiveness of emerging learning technologies, compared to more regular teaching methods.

Questions addressed:

  • How effective are i>Clicker and on-line tutorials, compared to regular session tutorials?
  • How do reported student perceptions of and experiences with alternative learning technologies compare to actual learning outcomes?
  • How can our study assist in the revision of existing i>Clicker and on-line tutorials for the courses we investigated and in the development of future courses that employ new teaching technologies?

Knowledge sharing: The results will be shared with the School of Criminology and with the broader university community. We anticipate that they will serve as a roadmap for instructors who are contemplating alternative course delivery methods.  The findings of this study will provide a better understanding of the impact of new learning technologies. 

Cartwright, B., & Fabian, S. (2013, May). Regular session, iclicker and on-line tutorials: Preliminary results of an online survey regarding student experiences with emerging learning technologies. Presentation at the Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Embracing Change @SFU, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Cartwright, B., & Fabian, S. (2013, November). Regular session, i>clicker and on-line tutorials: Exploring student perceptions of and experiences with emerging learning technologies. Paper presented at the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Seville, ES.