National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 10:2, Fall/Winter 2009.


Copyright 2009 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In his 1988 book entitled The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, Stewart Brand makes the following observation: “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road” (9). One focus of this Forum on “Honors in the Digital Age” is the degree to which honors faculty and students are part of the steamroller or part of the road. Instructional technologies can be both boon and bane, and I will address both aspects of using “clickers” in the honors classroom. “Clickers” is the common or slang term for what is more formally known as interactive, computer- based Audience Response Systems (ARS) or Group Response Systems (GRS), which allow members of an audience/group (e.g., classroom learners) to respond to questions posed to them by “clicking” their preferred answer out on a hand-held device or response pad. Those posing the questions (e.g., teachers or discussion facilitators) can, within seconds, prompt the system to tally, summarize, and display results in a chart form (e.g., pie, bar, or graph) for all to view and consider.