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:
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.
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.
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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 Holly Parker: Holly.Parker@uvm.edu
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.)
Download 3 Powerpoint slides to display in class that present clear directions for how students register.
Effective teaching with clickers requires planning. Here is a list of things to consider:
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.
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