Pausing the classroom lecture: The use of clickers to facilitate student engagement

Jian Jie Dong, Wu Yuin Hwang, Rustam Shadiev, Ginn Yein Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In a big classroom, it is not easy for instructors to be aware of whether or not all students are engaged in the lecture and who has difficulty understanding learning content. One way in which the engagement between instructor/lecturer and students in the classroom is via technology designed to facilitate this. A computer system, making use of clickers, was designed for students to do this. That is, students can request to pause the lecture when necessary. Two classes with 109 college students participated in this study. Students learned the subject matter by using the system for 2 weeks. This article describes the reasons why students choose to engage via this clicker-based system, the time when they do so and what factors influence students’ willingness to engage in this way. Furthermore, we investigated whether introverts would engage differently from the more non-introverted. The following main findings were obtained. Most students chose to engage via the clicker system. Results showed that students’ willingness to engage via this technology were because they found it difficult to remember or understand the lecture content. For instructors, there is a need to understand when, precisely, to pause the lecture so that an appropriate intervention might be made at that point. An optimal decision boundary for pausing the lecture is proposed. Finally, the article looks at whether or not the learning style of introverts influences student willingness to use such a clicker system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalActive Learning in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • engagement report
  • learning style
  • optimal decision boundary
  • trust


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