Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Clicker Questions can go to Hell. Part 1.

Dear Science Professors Enamored with I-Clickers,

Yes, they make class more interactive. But hell is also an interactive place where everyone is included in the flagellation. In my version of hell, Satan is the i-clicker. I am forced to make a choice of A, B, C, or D, with a chance of burning myself on his fiery body depending on the particular multiple choice question, which is almost always conveniently unrepresentative of the required reading. So it all becomes a statistical mind game, based strictly on luck and one's ability to guess whether the prof was more in an A mood or a C mood that morning.

More and more, science professors are falling in love with the concept of clicker questions during lecture. Students, let's band together to fend off these unwanted advances. Just because someone dangles bait doesn't mean we have to bite. Well, actually, we can't count on every member of the class to abstain from answering the clicker questions. So we are all screwed. But I urge all of you to send your i-clickers directly to the landfill, although if you live in Pyne, you may want to consider the blue bin. Shamefully, I will not be joining you, but I will applaud your valiant efforts until my hands become uncomfortable.

Reasons why clicker questions are ALWAYS a bad idea:

1. They increase blood pressure.
2. They promote injustice.
3. Cheating is only too easy.
4. They will eventually cause tigers to become extinct (See #2)
5. They destroy friendships. (This will be addressed in "Why Clicker Questions can go to HELL-Part 2.)
6. They kill Sunny Outlooks, an endangered species on campus.
7. They cause acid reflux.

Professors, I know you think these questions are easy and that they enhance your lecture. I know you say they do not constitute much of your grade and it's okay to miss a few. But they actually make your students want to cry. Let us absorb your knowledge, study the material, take a test, hand in a problem set, kowtow to you in your office hours, but please oh please spare us the clicker questions.

-The Blogstress

p.s.- Of course, if you get them all right, congratulations. But please don't talk to me right now. I need to breathe. Just breathe.