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Academic Technology Services blog

Clickers!

iClicker devices

Clickers, such as the iclickers shown here, can help engage students.

One problem that faces us in class is how to allow all students to participate. It’s even more difficult with large classes and students who are hesitant to voice their opinion. One tool that some teachers use to mitigate this is a classroom response system, or clickers.
Teachers use these for:

  • formative assessment
  • getting class opinions
  • helping students do group work
  • taking attendance in large classes


A classroom response system allows each student to answer a question simultaneously. Historically, these devices have been somewhat clunky- difficult to set up and difficult to use in class. Modern clickers are much easier to use, generally and after an hour or two of playing with them, it’s easy to become comfortable enough with them to use them in class, if support is available to help. Unfortunately, a classroom set of clickers (25 clickers and a base station or receiver), can be kind of expensive, costing more than $1000.
Thanks to the near-ubiquity of internet-connected devices – smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, and laptops, it’s also easy to avoid the hardware and use the web as a clicker. There are several choices out there:

These are just some of the options available. InkSurvey has actually been in development since Windows XP Tablet PCs came out and is hosted by our very own neighbor, the Colorado School of Mines. Both InkSurvey and Infuselearning allow a teacher to solicit graphical answers to questions and then let all students see the answers, without filling up whiteboard space and having students crowd around a board.
Inksurvey:

Infuse Learning:

1 Comment

  1. josephabbott says:

    Classroom clickers certainly are an excellent academic technology which allow every student in a class to participate in discussion going on. This system actually is an excellent alternative for students who feel hesitant voicing their opinion.

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