Andrea Lommen, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Franklin & Marshall, teaches courses with titles like Physics of Movement andStellar Astrophysics. In 2008, Professor Lommen won a NSF Grant to pursue gravitational waves. This award enables Professor Lommen and her students unique opportunites to study a fundamental problem in physics and astronomy.
In addition to her research interests, Professor Lommen has also embraced technology in her teaching. She was the first faculty member at the College to use student response systems, or "clickers," in the classroom. Her interest in clickers began as a search for a better way to engage students actively during class. During the Spring 2008 semester, Professor Lommen began integrating clickers with her lectures to collect data in real-time to measure her students understanding of her material.
She used the same lectures as she always has, but using PowerPoint along with the clickers this time, she was able to engage her students while at the same time analyzing their responses immediately. "I have noticed that no matter how great I am at trying to elicit responses from my students," Professor Lommen said, "there are always the dominant responders in class. Clickers give everyone a voice."
Professor Lommen is encouraged by the level of integration she was able to achieve by using clickers and other technologies in her teaching. While she continues to deliver powerful and meaningful lectures about the solar system, she continues to utilize technology to augment her effectiveness as a teacher. "The students realize they have to put their thoughts on the line. Because of that, they can acknowledge what they do not understand."