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Science & Tech

Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Flipside

Report: Edinburgh University clickers biggest technological failure of 21st century

GEORGE SQUARE LECTURE THEATRE – A recent study has concluded that the interactive clickers used in Edinburgh University lectures are “the most ineffective technological invention of the 21st century.”

“I’ve truly seen nothing like it in my years of studies,” one researcher explained, “It’s hard to find something that’s so technologically simple and basic to use, but is so astonishingly shit.”

The clickers in question are hand-held devices intended to provide an interactive learning experience to university students in large, crowded lecture halls. However, lecturers attempting to use the software are often beset by technological difficulties.

Researchers observed a series of lectures across a range of subjects and concluded that “There has been no recorded instance of the clickers ever working on the first try.” Students reported frequently spending forty-five minutes of their fifty minute lectures watching bemusedly as their lecturer tried and failed to run the clicker software and PowerPoint simultaneously.

However, despite failing to aid learning the clickers have still proven popular with the Edinburgh student body. “The clickers are great. I just pretend I’m playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and then I don’t have to listen to the lecture,” commented one first year economics student.

A follow-up study was conducted to gauge students’ favourite activities during lectures, with options including choices such as ‘PowerPoint issues’ and ‘fire alarm’. The study showed that clickers came in at an impressive second to the ‘no lecture’ option for all first and second year students surveyed.

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