Clickers at NAU

Clickers at NAU

  1. Read this page
  2. Sign up for a Clicker Training and Demonstration
  3. Fill out the Clicker Adoption Request form if you decide to use clickers for your class.

What are clickers?

Clickers--also known as classroom response systems, audience response systems, student response systems, or personal response systems--are hand-held, electronic polling devices that resemble a TV remote control. Designed for large face-to-face classes, they can help instructors gather feedback and keep students engaged. In clicker courses, students each purchase their own clicker. They can use the same clicker for multiple classes. When an instructor shows a clicker question (for example, in a PowerPoint or Keynote slide), students indicate their answers by pressing buttons A, B, C, D, or E on their clickers. A radio frequency receiver attached to the instructor's computer collects the responses, which are immediately tabulated and graphed on the instructor's computer. Using a projector, the instructor can show the results to the class.

NEW for Fall 2015! If the instructor allows it, there is also an option for students to use their smartphones* with the i>clicker REEF software instead of a hardware clicker. In this case, students without a smartphone can still purchase a hardware clicker. *Use of smartphones requires either good cellular reception or good wifi reception in the classroom. Please let your students know that the REEF license codes are non-returnable; once purchased, the bookstore will not take them back. Currently, there is an iOS (iPhone/iPad) app, and a browser-based version. An Android app is promised as "coming soon." Not all instructors will allow the smartphone option, so students may be required to purchase a hardware clicker for one class but prefer to use their smartphone for another class where REEF is permitted by the instructor. In this case, they would need to pay twice.

The benefit of clickers is that students can respond to questions and compare the responses with those of other students without feeling singled out. Instructors can use clickers to administer quizzes and tests, take attendance, find out whether the students are "getting it," inform students about how well they are doing in the class relative to their peers, and engage students with challenging questions in a large lecture class. In classes that use clickers, student participation rates are high, and instructors can gather large amounts of student data quickly and frequently.

How do instructors get started with clickers?

The university officially supports the i>clicker 2 device. If you are an instructor and want to use clickers in an upcoming course, fill out the Clicker Adoption Request form, which provides an easy way for you to notify the i>clicker company, the NAU Bookstore, and the e-Learning Center all at once. After you complete the form, the i>clicker company will send you a test kit that you use to set up clicker activities in your course. The NAU Bookstore needs to be notified of your intent to use clickers so that they can order a sufficient number for your students.

Where do instructors get i>clicker training and support?

The e-Learning Center provides training and support for instructors who are in Flagstaff. You can view our schedule for upcoming i>clicker workshops. i>clicker also offers online demos, webinars, case studies, white papers, a blog, a user community, and support.

Where do instructors get the i>clicker software and hardware?

You can download the newest software from the i>clicker Downloads page. Each academic term, check the page before the start of your class to see if updated software is available. If you don't have a test kit (which includes an instructor clicker, a student clicker (so you can practice as a student), and a receiver), e-Learning can provide you with one after you fill out the Clicker Adoption Request form.

Where do students get clickers?

Students can purchase or rent a new or used i>clicker2 from the NAU bookstore, or they can buy the devices online from the i>clicker company or from or other vendors. Multiple students (roommates, for example) can share a clicker as long as they are not enrolled in the same class section and they don't need to use the clicker at the same time.

How do students register their clickers?

Students have to register the clickers before they can use them in class, but there is no additional charge for registration. Students will log into Blackboard Learn with their NAU ID and password, and click the Add Module button in the upper left. Add the i>clicker module and then enter the clicker's serial number.

Can a student share a clicker with another student?

Yes, as long as they both aren't in the same class, and they both don't need it at the same time.

Can presenters borrow a set of clickers from the e-Learning Center?

Sorry, but we don't have any clickers to lend out for classes or events. For one-time or occasional presentation needs, we suggest you try Poll Everywhere, a web-based polling product that works with students' mobile phones, Twitter accounts, or web browsers. Register for a free or monthly plan, depending on your needs.

Resources and research on clickers

Seven Things You Should Know About Clickers

Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best-Practice Tips

Learning with "Clickers" Gets Better After Peer Discussions

Clicker Resources from the University of British Columbia

Clicker Resources from Vanderbilt University

Clicker Resources from the University of Colorado at Boulder

Audience Response System: Effect on Learning in Family Medicine Residents

Experiences of Using an Interactive Audience Response System in Lectures

Elliot, C. (2003), Using a Personal Response System in Economics Teaching