What is a clicker?
A clicker is an electronic device which allows conducting of multiple choice surveys in an environment where there are many respondents and an immediate need for answers. For example a crowded auditorium where people are asked if they got the topic or if the tempo of the lecture was appropriate. The lecturer can immediately project the results onto a screen thus providing a feedback to everyone in the room. The necessary hard- and software is provided with the clicker kit. There are various types of clickers that vary in price as well as specifications (with keyboards or numbers, with or without screens, etc)
How to use?
The clickers that have 10 numbers (some may have a screen or a keyboard) are handed to the students. The lecturer must connect the radio communicating USB receiver to a computer that contains the PowerPoint slides with the added clicker questions in order to receive the students answers. Once the slide with the questions is presented, the students can reply by pressing the number (or letter) of the correct answer.
When to use?
Clickers are good to use when dealing with a big auditorium where it is not possible to get a full overview of the listeners answers by simply asking the questions. In addition to the lecturer, the students will also receive the feedback. For example when answering wrong to a substantial question, it may come up that there are more students that have not understood the topic. Furthermore, every student does not have to receive a clicker. Students can team up which favours discussion and thinking the anwswers through.
The cost and where to get them?
The Univesity of Tartu Institute of Computer Science has been using clickers to diversify teaching for many years now. Currently used clickers are purchased from Turning Technologies. One bag with 50 clickers and a receiver costs about 2500 euros.
What are the alternatives?
In addition to the clickers, students mobile phones and computers can be used for voting by using programs like Kahoot, Socrative, Participoll, mQliker, Mentimeter. They require the devices to have an internet connection. Out of the aforementioned, Participoll is the closest to our clickers since it allows to add questions directly to the slides.
Students' opinion on clickers:
- "I think overall the clickers are one big reason why I drag myself to the lecture on every monday"
- "I belive that using clickers gives every student an opportunity to actively participate in lecture, even those who otherwise wouldn't dere to speak out loud"
- "You are able to express your opininon without opening your mouth. Like an anonymous internet commentator :-)"
- "Clickers are interesting and must stay. It's always good to know that you are not the only stupid in lecture."
It is also possible to lend the clickers from ATI Comp: Price-list
In case of questions address our Educational technologist or write to ati.comp [ät] ut.ee