With the influx of new technologies over the last few years, many new ways have been developed to get your student's voice heard in your class. One kind of technology that has been used here at North Shore Community College is clicker technology, which is often times referred to as audience response, classroom response, or student response technology.
This little device, the clicker, allows the student to make their voice heard anonymously in class. Many faculty have used polling when talking about controversial issues. The student submits their actually feelings on an issue without class influence. Other faculty have used clickers to get a sense of whether or not the class has understood the gist of the material just presented in class. It's a kind of "pre-testing" or "assessment" of student knowledge. It helps you as the instructor understand just where they are in their learning or any common misconceptions that might be happening.
Formal polling can be developed in PowerPoint. On-the-fly polling can be conducted anywhere, anytime. We use Turning Technologies' Turning Point software here at the College for both formal and anywhere/anytime polling. You, as the instructor, get to tailor the polling to your classes needs. For instructors, who for whatever reason choose not to clicker hardware in their class, web-based and phone-based solutions are also available through Poll Everywhere. Submitting answers through a web site are often preferred over submitting answers via text as students texting may cost that student money depending on their texting plan.
For "first steps" in this process, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-739-5530. Also, here is a great resource for getting started with clickers here at North Shore. We are happy and here to help!
General Overview of Clickers
- 7 Things You Should Know About Clickers
- Clickers in the Classroom at U Wisconsin-Madison
- Clicker Resource Guide: Instructors Guide to the Effective Use of Personal Response Systems (Clickers) in Teaching
- In Search of Answers, Teachers Turn to Clickers
- More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them
- Clickers and CATs: Using Learner Response Systems for Formative Assessments in the Classroom
- Classroom Reconsidered: Understanding and Engaging Students with Clickers
Have you used clickers or other similar tools in your class? What are some of your best experiences with it? What surprised you about the experience?