Classroom Clickers

Classroom clickers or student response systems have become high-demand classroom tools in schools, universities, and training programs across the country.

Research on clicker technology has proven that student response systems, in whatever form they may take, are not a trend or a fad, but a true instructional technology piece that can change instruction and impact student learning.

While the way in which "clickers" are incorporated may look different - involving mobile technologies such as iPads, Android tablets, or Chromebooks - the premise is the same.  Know what your students know...instantly.

How Do Student Response Systems Work?

Each student in your class has a wireless handheld response pad, or clicker, with which they are able to answer questions. This "clicker" may even be built into software solutions like MimioMobile and contained in a mobile device like an iPad or Android tablet.

The teacher poses a question verbally or through the computer onto a projector or television screen, and the students respond with their handheld device, which may be a hardware clicker, their phone or tablet, or even on their laptop. 

Classroom clickers  make grading a snap of both formative and summative assessments, and the ability to pose verbal questions and receive immediate feedback from students allows the instructor to totally change the dynamics of what might be an otherwise tiresome lecture period.

The Impact of Clicker Technology on Student Learning

Clickers provide true data-driven instruction.

After students respond to a question using their tablets or response pads, the teacher is able to see immediately how students answer and if they understand the material being taught. This provides data to decide if remediation is needed or if the teacher can forge ahead with new material, based on student results and/or obvious misconceptions.

Clickers engage students and make learning motivating and fun.

Clicker technology, very similar to the familiar feel of a remote control, is comfortable and fun for students of all ages. The younger generation instinctively knows how this "gadget" works, and the immediate feedback it provides makes learning fun and effective for both young and old. 

Incorporating clicker technology into a BYOD environment with software such as MimioMobile makes participation for students even more motivating.

Clickers involve everyone and embarrass no one.

Clicker technology allows every student to answer without the fear of humiliation or negative attention. When using student response systems, every student can share their input without embarrassment rather than allowing one or two eager students to dominate discussions.

When discussing controversial topics, students can also answer and voice their opinion behind a cloak of anonymity. Answering anonymously also encourages the audience to be completely honest, providing more accurate surveys and voting situations.

Clickers can be used for both formative and summative assessments.

Student response systems offer a wide variety of formative and summative assessment options, including teacher-driven or student-driven. Questions can be posed entirely through the computer for a daily pop quiz, reviews, surveys, or verbal questioning during lectures.

With the self-paced testing mode available in some clickers, students can also progress through assessments at their own speed. Students can even take paper tests through the remotes, which saves the instructor prep time and still allows the software to do the grunt work of grading.

Although we highly encourage the use of clickers as formative assessment tools, we can’t turn our backs on the benefits provided to teachers bogged down in papers and tests to grade. When clickers are used to grade assessments, teachers have the ability to deliver information to students, parents, principals, other teachers, and district administrators immediately.

Using Student Response Systems Effectively

Looking for creative uses for classroom clickers?
Are you having trouble envisioning what you could do with student response devices beyond just taking tests?  These ideas will help you perk up multiple classroom processes using clickers... Read More