What are Clickers?
Clickers, or personal response systems, are similar to handheld remote controls and range from the simple (only 5 buttons for multiple choice questions), to the complex (clickers with a numeric keyboard and multiple choice options). The answers are collected by a base unit attached to the instructor computer at the front of the room.
Contact the iClicker representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-209-5698
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How do I integrate clickers in my classroom?
Consider the following questions, and some suggestions, found in the Clicker Resource Guide, prepared by staff of the CU Science Education Initiative and UBC’s Carl Wieman:
• How much time should I give students to answer a clicker question?
• How should clicker questions be graded?
• How many clicker questions should I give in a lecture?
• How do I promote discussion between students?
• Won’t I lose control of the class if I let them talk so freely?
• How do I get students to get back on task after a clicker question and stop talking?
• Don’t “strong” students just give “weak” students the answer if there is discussion?
• Are clickers any better than simpler technologies such as students raising hands or coloured cards to answer questions?
• Will there be student resistance and if so, how do I deal with it?
• How do I respond if technical problems arise during class?
• Should I post answers to clicker question after class or not?
Students may be curious about your decision to use this technology. Explain to them your reasoning: to encourage active learning, provide immediate feedback, reinforce key concepts, and review readings or homework. Help your students develop an understanding of the validity of the clickers.
Let your students know what they should do if they forget their clickers, how you feel about sharing or discussing answers with neighbours or using their friends’ clickers. Let them know how often you will be recording clicker responses for points, and if right answers or any answer will count.
What will you remove from lectures to ask clicker questions?
Using clickers will cut down on the time you would have to give your lecture but using clickers engages students, promotes learning and gives you valuable feedback.
Writing clicker questions?
Will you use it to assess students on their comprehension of the readings, to promote discussion in the classroom, to track opinions on controversial questions or to link different concepts and ideas together? When writing clicker questions, choose questions related to what your students are learning in order to engage them with the material. Write clicker questions that test for misconceptions¬ – this provides instant feedback to you and your students. Questions can test if students can apply a principle or theory you’ve discussed in class. Write more complex questions that test their ability to synthesize different ideas to solve problems. Problem-solving questions can be discussed in small groups or pairs to encourage peer learning and collaboration.
How will the types of questions you pose change as the semester goes on? Some instructors deliver questions early in the semester to test student knowledge or as a pre-assessment. Clickers can be used for a practice test.