- Teaching Resources
- iClickers at UVM
Using iClickers at UVM
What is an iClicker?
The iClicker (iclicker.com) is one brand in a classification of tools referred to as "classroom response systems" or "clickers." Essentially, the iClicker is an electronic polling technology, developed by educators, that allows students to give instant feedback or answers to questions during class. Students use hand-held devices (similar to the remote controls) to enter responses by electronic signal to a central receiving station connected to a computer. Faculty can then graphically display students’ collective responses during the class for discussion.
Faculty use clickers in the classroom in a variety of ways:
- administer quizzes
- take attendance and to track student participation
- facilitate think-pair-share activity
- practice multiple choice questions
- review/check understanding of material
- setup for dismantling a common misconception about a concept
- engage students about a topic before covering the material
- ask students to apply a concept to a new situation
- spark discussion
- allow students to gauge how their answers/understanding fits with that of others in the class
- get anonymous feedback on sensitive topics
Why are we focusing on the iClicker brand?
Many universities, including UVM, have decided to recommend one brand of clickers to reduce costs to students and encourage reuse of the hand-held devices, therefore reducing electronic waste. UVM's Faculty Senate Education and Research Committee have recommended iClicker as the preferred device for UVM.
Files to Download
1. If you're just starting, you'll need to download a current version of the software from the iClicker website:
2. To synchronize iClicker with your Blackboard course roster and to upload your session data into the Blackboard Grade Center, you'll need to download the software needed to integrate these tools:
Once you have unzipped (and extracted, if on Windows) these downloaded files, copy the contents into the "Resources" directory in your iClicker folder. To synchronize, go into the iClicker Resources folder and run the "CMS Integrate Wizard" application, and follow the prompts.
Classrooms equipped with iClicker base stations
Angell B106 and B112
Jeffords 110 and 112
Lafayette 108 and 207|
Marsh Life Science 235
Rowell 103 and 118
Terrill 108 and 308
Votey 105 and 254
Your classroom not on this list? Contact UVM Media Services: Classroom Technologies to request that a base station be installed: 656-8924
iClicker support at UVM
The Center for Teaching and Learning can help you with your iClicker questions. We have clickers available for demos and to borrow on a trial basis.
To learn more, contact the CTL "Doctor Is In" Program: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get iClickers for your class
Faculty may order iClickers at the bookstore for their classes, just as they would order books. Be sure to put an order in for all the students so everyone is able to purchase one. (Note: the iClicker remote uses AAA batteries. You may want to keep a few on hand in your briefcase for your students, just in case.)
Student Registration Directions
Download 3 Powerpoint slides to display in class that present clear directions for how students register.
iClicker vendor support and site resources:
Practice and Pedagogy
Effective teaching with clickers requires planning. Here is a list of things to consider:
- To get the most value out of using clickers, use them regularly each class period or at the minimum, each week throughout the semester. Students need practice and reminders to bring them to class, so start with low-stakes activities.
- Take the time to explain why you are using the iClicker Student Response System. Let the students know how it works and why you think it is important for learning and engagement.
- By using clickers, you are inviting students to participate and thus decreasing the amount of time you have to lecture. Adjust your expectations for how much content will be addressed during class.
- If teaching a large course, wait until after the drop/add period before collecting quiz and attendance data with your clicker.
Ways to Use iClickers in the Classroom:
The nature of the questions you write for iClicker responses can significantly effect the success of their use, so craft your clicker questions carefully. Clicker expert Derek Bruff comments that “many people think of the multiple choice question as being only about factual recall, but the one-best-answer variation probes much deeper. A really good teacher can write really good wrong answers to a question—ones that key into common student difficulties with material.” (http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/30/04702889/0470288930.pdf) Write questions to ascertain students' prior knowledge of the content, or to see if they understand the current content being presented, and use students’ responses to gauge what you should address next or clarify.
Online Resources About Clicker Technology:
University of Wisconsin Best Practices on Clicker use:
Examples of good clicker questions in the sciences:
Inside Higher Education interview with Derek Bruf about clicker use in higher education
EDUCAUSE's "7 things to You Should Know about Clickers":
Agile Learning blog by Derek Bruff
Teaching with Classroom Response Systems:
Resources for engaging and assessing students with clickers across disciplines
Ohio State University's reference list of clicker articles:
Discipline-based resources on clickers