Classroom response devices are a great way to engage students in the classroom interactively ideas, problems, etc. Instructor and students can immediately see how well they are achieving the learning goals of the course based on the responses and it's a great way to engage students in active learning.
In September 2014, new provostial guidelines were released on the Use of Digital Materials. "The purchase of clickers is not included in the $60 threshold. Instructors are encouraged to seek cost-effective measures, such as selecting bundled course packages that include clickers at a reduced price or using the iClicker unit currently supported at the University."
The iClicker transponder that captures student responses is provided to instructors by the iClicker company and is available from Brian Sutherland in CTL. iClickers are available to students for purchase from the Bookstore for about $42. The system works via a radio signal (between the transponder and the student's clickers) so it works in all of our classrooms. iClicker is the currently recommended system and the one for which CTL provides technical support. We are also reviewing iClicker Cloud, a new Bring-Your-Own-Device solution for future use. However, U of T is not currently supporting iClicker Cloud as the WiFi in the class may not be sufficiently responsive to capture all student responses. The iClicker company often schedules webinars about the use of iClicker, to sign up, [visit this site].
iClicker Registration Online
Produced by iClicker. As most Professors will be using iClicker with Blackboard, students should use the UTORid to register the clicker, (not the student number). [Register here].
Students no longer have the option of selling iClickers back to the U of T Bookstore at the conclusion of their courses, this program was suspended.
We encourage faculty who wish to use classroom response devices here at UTSC follow the university recommendations and use the iClicker system.
To use iClicker 'Classic' at U of T Scarborough in your course:
- Inform CTL so we can obtain a base station for your personal use, or have it installed in the hall where you are lecturing.
- Inform the UTSC Bookstore, to ensure they stock enough iClicker devices for purchase.
- Post a statement in your syllabus so students know that purchasing an iClicker is a requirement for the course. You will probably want to decide if you are going to identify specific students with iClickers so as to assess participation, or have students use them anonymously.
- Invest time in training yourself. When your base station arrives or is installed, obtain personal instruction with the equipment and software from CTL, or attend a workshop either on the UTSC campus, or downtown.
- The iClicker software can be downloaded from the website, in which case student registration must also occur on the web site, or it can be integrated with Blackboard, which requires you to use the iClicker software downloaded from our support site
- Plan how you will use specific questions during your lectures to provoke discussion and engage students in analyzing concepts.
Registering Students: Importing Roster files to iGrader
If you intend to reward students who participate using iClicker, you will need to identify their voting contributions, which can be done retroactively at any point in the course, using the iGrader application that comes with iClicker.
Here are some links for finding out more about iClicker, ranging from using audience response within the university-teaching context to technical information on how the system works.
- Synchronizing iClicker and Blackboard a short YouTube instruction video describing how to use iClicker with the University of Toronto LMS, courtesy of the UTM library
- Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) iClicker support page
- CTSI Blackboard iClicker Integration Instructions
- Portal Info iClicker Integration Instructions
- iClicker Home Page
What your peers say:
Here's a presentation, Using Classroom Response Systems to Engage Your Students, from UTSC's Professor Shadi Dalili about the use of iClicker in undergraduate chemistry. (View more presentations from sdalili)
Cross Referencing Demographics with Responses to Individual Questions
What the critics say:
Barber, Maryfran. "Clicker evolution: seeking intelligent design." CBE life sciences education 6.1 (2007):1-8.
Brickman, Peggy. "The Case of the Druid Dracula: A Directed "Clicker" Case Study on DNA Fingerprinting." Journal of college science teaching 36.2 (2006):48-53.
Caldwell, Jane. "Clickers in the large classroom: current research and best-practice tips." CBE life sciences education 6.1 (2007):9-20.
Dinka, Nicholas. "Control freaks: profs and students are smitten with classroom clickers." Toronto life, Toronto 40.1 (2006):20-21.
Herreid, Clyde. ""Clicker" Cases: Introducing Case Study Teaching into Large Classrooms." Journal of college science teaching 36.2 (2006):43-47.
Hoffman, C(1). "A clicker for your thoughts: technology for active learning." New Library World 107.9 (2006):422-433.
Educators Who Have Made a Difference for Their Students: Observations and Reflections of Three Nationally Recognized Marketing Professors
Sautter, Elsie "Pookie"; Gagnon, Gary B.; Mohr, Jakki J.
Journal Of Marketing Education, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 85-90, April 2007
Skiba, Diane. "Got large lecture hall classes? Use clickers." Nursing education perspectives 27.5 (2006):278-80.