iClicker is an electronic polling technology that allows students to give instant feedback or answers to questions during class. Students respond to polls with either an app on their mobile devices (phone, tablet, or laptop) or on a handheld iClicker remote. Faculty can opt to display students’ collective responses to the class.
How are iClickers used for teaching?
Some of the ways they’re used at UVM are to:
- Take attendance
- Review/check understanding of material
- Facilitate think-pair-share activities
- Spark discussion
- Dismantle common misconceptions
- Practice multiple choice questions
- Get anonymous feedback on sensitive topics
- Administer multiple choice quizzes
The Preferred Instructor Software is iClicker Cloud
iClicker has two versions of software from which faculty can choose to run polls and manage their data. However, we now recommend that everyone use iClicker Cloud. Here’s why:
- It stores all data securely in the cloud.
- Faculty can log in and use iClicker Cloud from any computer including from the classroom podium computers.
- Students can participate with either physical clickers or the Student App.
- iClicker Cloud has a broad range of question types including multiple choice, short answer, true/false, multiple-answer, numeric answer, target/hot spot, and exit polls (although students participating with iClicker+ remotes can only answer multiple choice and true/false).
- iClicker Cloud distinguishes the functions of polling and quizzing and supports asynchronous sessions via “Assignments.”
While it is still available, iClicker Classic has a number of drawbacks, including,
- iClicker Classic stores all data locally on a thumb drive, which is not as secure. It can be run from a personal laptop, however many classrooms don’t accommodate connecting laptops at the podium now.
- While, students can participate with either physical clickers or the Student App, iClicker Classic doesn’t support as many question types as Cloud.
- iClicker Classic can be more difficult for instructors to install and sync with Blackboard than iClicker Cloud.
➔ Read about iClicker Classic on this page.
Options for Student Participation
The two options described below can work successfully with both iClicker Cloud and iClicker Classic.
No matter which software is used by the instructor, students can respond using iClicker+ or iClicker2 Remotes (via radio waves sent to a receiving base station that is connected to the instruction computer) OR students can use iClicker Student App on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones, submitting responses via either wifi or cellular data.
If you are using iClicker Cloud in a fully remote or online course, students will not have the option of using a handheld clicker; they must use iClicker Student App on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Option #1 - The (free) iClicker Student App
UVM now has a site-license, so the iClicker Student App is a no-cost option for students (for iOS, Android, and laptops via a browser). For students to use this app, an adequate wireless signal is required in your classroom.
Should I ask my students to use the iClicker Student App?
We recommend that you only ask students to use the iClicker Student App if the classroom in which you are teaching has high-density wireless. The iClicker Student App will not be reliable in rooms without high-density wireless. Therefore, if students’ iClicker answers form a part of their grades, we recommend that students purchase the handheld device.
To determine whether your classroom has high-density wireless, go to the TechTeam’s Classroom Lookup Guide, and find the classroom you are teaching in. Scroll to down to the “At a Glance” on the lower right-hand side of the page to see whether your room has high-density wifi capacity. If the room is not listed as “High-Density”, it does not have high-density wireless capabilities.
If I want my students to use the app, what do they have to do?
Students acquire the iClicker Student App in the same way as they did in the past, by downloading it through the app store on their phone or logging into the iClicker site on their laptop. When they enter their UVM email (i.e. email@example.com) while logging in, the system will recognize them as being associated with our license.
What are the next steps in the implementation of iClicker Student App license?
UVM’s is working on improving the classroom wifi capacity. We will update the Classroom Lookup Guide on a regular basis so that faculty are informed of each room’s capacity.
UVM is also exploring ways to further reduce the cost for students who need to purchase handheld iClickers due to low density wifi capacity in classrooms. We hope to have additional options by Spring 2022.
Option #2 - The (purchased) Handheld iClicker Remote
How students buy iClickers
Students can purchase iClickers through the UVM Bookstore, when ordered for a class.
Other vendors may also sell or rent iClicker remotes online, including MacMillan Learning.
How students register their iClickers
For iClicker data to be collected, student have to register their devices. (We don’t recommend that they register their devices on the iClicker website.) They should register their iClickers in Blackboard because it allows the iClicker program to associate student votes with their names.
If you’re integrating iClicker scores with Blackboard, students must register their clickers on the My Blackboard page (see image). They need to log in to Blackboard to be able to register.
If students are using handheld clickers, what do I need to know?
If students will be using handheld clickers, you may need to limit your question types to multiple choice in your polls. For example, many students have iClicker+ remotes, which do not support the same question types the iClicker Student App is able to.
Loan an iClicker
- Be sure that you’re connected to a base station
- Open iClicker and click the green Start New Session button
- Click the gear icon in the iClicker tool bar
- Choose Loan Clickers
- Now, on the clicker remote, hold the on/off button until the light flashes
- Then press A A
- The ID# for that remote will show up in the instructor’s “loan clicker” window
- Then choose the student from the list and select the time period (the term or the session)
- Click Save
Steps to Access and Use iClicker Cloud
Access iClicker Cloud
- Get the software: Because iClicker Cloud is now the recommended way to use iClickers, all general purpose classrooms have the iClicker Cloud software installed. However, if you are using your own computer, you have the option to download/install the iClicker Cloud application. (Mac Catalina users, see yellow note below.)
- There are two ways to sign in to begin using iClicker Cloud:
- Open the iClicker Cloud app/program and click “Sign in through your campus portal.” To proceed, you’ll need to select University of Vermont.
- Or go to https://instructor.iclicker.com/ and click “Sign in through your campus portal.” To proceed, you’ll need to select University of Vermont.
Note that polls can be run from the installed software OR the web login, but either way, the software must still be installed.
Instructions for setting up an iClicker Cloud Course
Create a course in iClicker Cloud. If you will only be running iClicker on your laptop, you can create the course in the downloaded application or in a browser on the Instructor Site. If you’ll be using the classroom podium computers, create your class in a browser. The steps shown below demonstrate creating a course in the browser on the Instructor Site.
- Choose whether you’ll just take attendance or also run polls/quizzes.
- Affiliate with the University of Vermont.
- Recommended naming convention: Semester – Course Title.
- Click on the course name.
- Click on “Settings…”
- If you are running a remote/online course, click on the “Devices” tab.
- Choose Mobile Devices Only (which allows students to participate with laptops, tablets, and smartphones, but not handheld clickers).
- Click on the “Polling” tab to determine what points students will earn for participation and/or performance as well as the values for those activities. Choose whether or not to send a picture of your screen to student devices when polling starts. This is recommended so that students can easily see the question. Additionally, set values for participation and performance points.
Instructions for integrating an iClicker Cloud course with Blackboard
- Click on the “Integrations” tab (from the Instructor site rather than in the app you downloaded to your computer).
- First, make sure that you are logged into Blackboard in the web browser you are using (not Safari – see above).
- Next, click Connect to Blackboard
- Click “Go to Blackboard.”
- From the list of courses, choose the Blackboard course that corresponds to the iClicker Cloud course you are integrating.
- Select “Sync Roster Now.”
- You should see confirmation that the Sync was successful. This will download your Blackboard roster to iClicker Cloud. You will need to do this regularly during add/drop to ensure that your Blackboard and iClicker rosters match.
- Finally, make determinations about whether you wish to aggregate all iClicker data to a single column in Blackboard or whether you wish to create a new column in Blackboard for each iClicker session. Additionally, choose whether students will receive a score of zero if they do not participate in a session. This is required if you plan to drop the lowest scores and count non-participated sessions as possible drops.
Helping your students get started with the iClicker Student App
Students will need to follow these steps to log in and/or create an iClicker account. If they’ve created an account prior to August 2021, they will need to follow the steps in that article to link their accounts with their UVM accounts.
Once logged in, they will need to add your course manually by following the steps in this article. Provide students with the specific name of your course so that they can easily find it.
If any of your students are using physical clicker devices, they will need to follow these steps to register their remotes in the iClicker Student App.
Running an iClicker Cloud polling session
- Launch the iClicker Cloud application on the classroom computer or your laptop.
- Login to iClicker Cloud using your previously created instructor account.
- If teaching a fully in-person class, choose whether or not to enable location for attendance. If you do enable location, you will have to choose your class building on a map and specify the number of feet students must be in proximity in order to be present. Enabling location for attendance should NOT be set for courses with students participating remotely. Choose Settings from the drop-down menu:
Select the Attendance tab and choose whether or not to require location and click Save:
- Find the name of your course and choose Start Class.
- Choose the appropriate menu item from the toolbar:A = Toggle to minimize toolbar
B = Open polling
C = Open quizzing
D = View attendees
E = End class session
- From within the Polling modality, you can:
- Ask a variety of polling question types.
- Ask and grade target questions.
- You can also Grade and View Polling results on iClicker Cloud.
- The Polling toolbar floats above any open programs and allows you to control what students see:
A = Close the polling function and view the iClicker Cloud application toolbar (see #8 below)
B = Open (and close) polling
C = Choose question type
D = Display poll results as a graph
E = Additional polling settings
- From within the Quizzing modality, you can define the number of questions and points per question.
- You can also Grade and View Quizzing results on iClicker Cloud.
- If you are using iClicker Cloud to take attendance, there are a few resources and options to explore:
- iClicker has created detailed syllabus language and slides you can use/adapt.
- If you are ONLY using iClicker for attendance, students do not have to pay for the Reef app.
- You can choose to turn on geolocation, which would require students to be physically in your classroom in order to be counted as present (again, this is NOT recommended for classes with remote students.
- You can turn on iClicker Focus, which provides a report to students and instructors at the end of each class indicating number of instances and time spent away from the iClicker Student App.
- You can also View and Manage Attendance data (you do not need to manually export, because you have set up a direct link to your Bb Grade Center).
- For any class session, you also have the option of running an exit poll with iClicker Cloud, which can serve as a type of formative assessment, providing you and students with information about their level of understanding. Consider starting with points of confusion at the next class.
- If you choose, students may have the option of using handheld iClickers or the Student App to participate in polls run through iClicker Cloud, recognizing that students using handheld clickers will not be able to participate in questions based on certain question types. You also have the option of restricting participation only to students using handheld iClickers.
Instructions for viewing previous iClicker Cloud sessions and syncing grades to Blackboard
- When you are done running a poll, sign back in to your iClicker Cloud account on the Instructor site.
- Click on the name of your course.
- Click on Gradebook (on the left menu) then click on the Sync Grades.
- You should now see one or more columns (depending on how you set up syncing) in your Blackboard course with each student’s iClicker Student App results.
- iClicker Cloud can also generate study tools based on your in-class polls.
- There are additional actions you can take on the iClicker Cloud Instructor Website.
Instructions for using MS Teams with iClicker Cloud/Student App for remote classes
There are a variety of ways to share your screen during a Teams meeting. When using iClicker Cloud, you likely will want to share your Desktop so that you can toggle between your slides and your iClicker toolbar (which will allow you to share polling results with your students).
As noted, above, in the Instructions for Setting Up an iClicker Cloud Course, you can choose whether to send results to students when polling ends, or not. Only some polling question types will display all results to students. For instance, students can see aggregate results for multiple choice polls but cannot see all the individual responses for short answer questions (they can only see their own response). Given the inconsistency of sharing results based on question type and the pedagogical reasons for not always revealing all responses to students right away, we recommend that you “do not send results” to student devices when polling ends.
These steps will most seamlessly allow you to display questions and polls to students.
- Before your Teams class meeting, open the file with your questions (typically a Powerpoint, but could also be a website, a word document, a PDF, etc.). Additionally, close any unnecessary programs or programs that could pop-up notifications you wouldn’t want your students to see.
- Before your Teams class meeting, open the iClicker Cloud desktop application (that you’ve previously installed) and login to the program. Then click “Start Class” for the appropriate class, so students can join the iClicker session when they join the Teams class. More information can be found, above, in the Instructions for Running iClicker Cloud in Class.
- Start your class meeting in Teams.
- When you are ready to start sharing questions and polls, be sure you have selected the option to share your Desktop. Students will see anything displayed on the screen that you are now sharing.
- Minimize any unneeded windows (this is often, minimally, the main Teams program window).
- Display your document containing questions. If you choose to display in full screen, you will no longer be able to see the Teams meeting window, unless you have a second screen or second device. You can also layer windows, with the Teams meeting window behind the document with your questions so that you can still keep an eye on the meeting chat. Or, you can view the Teams meeting on a second screen or device.
- The iClicker Cloud toolbar should float on top of any programs.
- When you are ready to begin polling, choose the question type and start polling.You and your students will see something similar to this (a Powerpoint slideshow in fullscreen presentation mode with the iClicker Cloud toolbar floating on top):
Or something like this (a Powerpoint slideshow presented to a resized Window layered on top of the Teams meeting window, with the iClicker Cloud toolbar floating on top):
- From this screen, you will not be able to see the students’ responses; you can only track the number of responses recorded. If you wish to see more details of the student’s responses, log in to the iClicker Cloud app on a mobile device simultaneously.
- Stop polling when you have a sufficient number of responses of time you’ve provided is complete.
- Choose whether or not to display the results to students from the iClicker Cloud toolbar.
- Repeat displaying questions and starting/stopping polling as many times as desired.
- If you are only using iClicker polling for a portion of class, you may choose to stop sharing your Desktop in the Teams meeting and choose a different sharing option so you can view the Teams meeting chat and participant list more easily.
How do I install and run iClicker Classic?