Effective clicker use in the classroom

Clickers, also known as personal response systems, have been used extensively in many colleges in recent years.  A growing body of evidence indicates that, when used appropriately, clickers can be effective in enhancing student engagement and learning.

Best practice:

  1. provide one or more clicker questions every 10-15 minutes
  2. use clicker questions to introduce new concepts (to assess initial perceptions) and to evaluate student understanding at the close of a topic
  3. create clicker questions that involve critical-thinking exercises
  4. treat clicker questions as think-pair-share exercises in which students discuss their answers with each other before submitting responses (or have them first vote individually, followed by a discussion with a fellow student, and a revote)
  5. use this as a low-stakes testing environment in which wrong answers do not have a very adverse effect on grades.

Do not:

  1. use clickers primarily as a way of taking attendance - students will resent buying a clicker that is used just to record their presence.
  2. primarily use clicker questions at the beginning or end of classes (or it may seem as if you are using them primarily to take attendance.

Campus standard: In spring 2012, a committee of faculty and staff selected i>clicker as the campus standard clicker. If you plan to use clickers in class, please order  the i>clicker+ from the college bookstore. The use of the campus standard clicker ensures that students may buy a clicker and use it in multiple classes. Also, be sure to contact Dave McQuin to ensure that a clicker receiver will be available and installed in your classroom.

Resources:

SUNY-Oswego workshop videos

Setting up i>clicker for first time use

  1. Download i>clicker software (v. 6.4.1) configured for SUNY-Oswego (Windows only version, Windows/Mac combined version, or Mac only version) and unzip this zipped folder to a usb drive.
  2. Go to the directory containing these files on your usb drive and double click on iclicker. Select New, and define your course title, number and section  number.
  3. Highlight your newly defined class and select "Choose"
  4. Click on "My Settings"
  5. On the General tab, enter the id of your instructor remote (found on the label on the back)
  6. On the CMS/Registration tab, select "ANGEL"
  7. On the Polling tab, used the Normal size and Medium or Low transparency (this may be changed later)
  8. On the polling tab, for the timer, you may select "Count down" or "Count up."  Select "Count down" if you wish to have the polling automatically end after a specified interval (1:00 - 1:30 is recommended, this can be changed later). Select "Count up" if you want to terminate the polling yourself (and not give the students a visual count down to the end of the poll).
  9. On the scoring tab, enter the number of points for session participation, response points (for all responses, correct or incorrect) and the points for correct response.
  10. Leave the other tabs unchanged initially (you may change these settings later). Click on "Set for Course"
  11. When ready to use this in class, reload i>clicker, select the class, and click on Start Session. Use the remote to begin questions and to display responses

    Setting up i>clicker / ANGEL integration

    1. Download and follow the instructions on setting up the i>clicker registration nugget in your ANGEL course shell.
    2. Click on i>grader, select your class, and follow the directions on screen. (Whenever you load or reload the ANGEL roster, you will have to exit i>grader and then restart the program before uploading grades.)

    Using i>clicker and i>grader with ANGEL

    Insert your usb drive, and open the folder containing i>clicker at the start of class. Run the i>clicker program, select your class, and click on the Start polling button. Use the instructor remote to start (or end) polling and to display results on the screen. At the end of the class, close the i>clicker window displayed on the screen. Close the program, eject your usb drive, and take it with you.

    Insert the usb drive into your computer and run i>grader. Go through the questions to assign correct answers (if you have nbot already done so)  by double clicking on the day's results and checking the box to the left of each correct answer. Click on "Synch" when done and follow the onscreen prompts. After exiting i>grader, log into ANGEL and use the batch operation in the gradebook to assign zeros to missing scores.

    If you need assistance in integrating clicker scores into your ANGEL gradebook, contact John Kane (john.kane@oswego.edu)