Turning Point How Tos
- Decide Which Type of Clicker is Appropriate for Your Course
There are simple clickers that have only a few numbered or lettered buttons and other, more complex clickers that are equipped with numbered keypads. More complex clickers are more expensive, but students may buy used clickers and sell them at the end of the course. Each type of clicker comes with its own software, so reviewing the software as well as the clicker itself would be useful. A helpful article on clicker use in the classroom.
- Use Clickers Throughout the Class and the Semester
Clickers can be used to do more than just take attendance. Clicker use can provide immediate and useful information about students' understanding of course concepts by proposing questions with right and wrong answers. Clickers can also encourage shy students to participate in class discussion and can elicit telling responses from students by offering anonymity for questions that may be unpopular or controversial.
- Decide How Students Submit Answers
You may choose to have students submit answers anonymously or you may register each clicker to a specific student, which is essential to administering quizzes. A quiz taken with a clicker is automatically graded and recorded under each student's name, depending on the accompanying software.
- Ask the Right Questions
To get the most out of clicker responses, ask questions that focus on key concepts and fundamental understanding of the material. Asking awkwardly worded or poorly structured questions may confuse students and hinder your efforts to gain useful feedback.
- Adjust Your Questions to Reflect Students' Responses
You may plan each of your questions before class or create new questions during class based on students' responses. Either way, you’ll increase student engagement and learn about their levels of understanding.
- Encourage Students to Examine Their Own Responses
Not only do clickers supply teachers with valuable information, but they also help students participate in self-teaching. Students can immediately see the responses of the entire class and can then identify which concepts they need to spend more time studying.
- Save the Results
If you want to save clicker results, you may save and display the results of each question, or you may download the results to a spreadsheet and analyze responses from the entire semester. Each clicker’s software package should provide a way to preserve results.
- Let a Teaching Assistant Help
Occasionally, clickers may malfunction, whether it's due to a dead battery or a hardware problem. Having a teaching assistant's help means that you can continue with your lesson and while helping the individual student.
If you or your students have any best practices to share, or if you have any questions on how to implement any of the best practices, please contact IMG at 844-5181.
Last Updated: Sept 10th, 2010