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Clicker Pedagogical FAQs

Instructor:

Why should I use clicker’s in my classroom?

Will student’s stop showing up to lecture if I use clickers?

  • Clickers often have the opposite effect because they require students to be present to participate, and by assigning low-stakes points to clicker questions, students not only attend class but also remain engaged during class.

How do I know clickers will work here at UC Merced?

  • While UC Merced is in its early phase of clicker adoption, there are plenty of evidence that clickers are being successfully integrated in the classrooms. Several UCM faculty have successfully used clickers in their classes, and they and their students can testify to its efficacy as an high-impact instructional tool.

  • There are plenty of on-campus resources to help support instructors and their clicker adoption:

    • We have two Turning Technologies Student Interns who are dedicated to providing personalize support for instructors and students using clickers. You can contact them for an appointment: (information available soon). 

    • If you encounter hardware (e.g., receiver or clickers not working) or software issue (e.g., TurningPoint AnyWhere doesn’t load) that cannot be solved by either these FAQs or any of the additional resources listed, you can contact the IT Help Desk (email: helpdesk@ucmerced.edu; call 209-228-4357; or visit COB 132).

    • The Center for Research on Teaching Excellence (CRTE) is another resource. They offer clicker workshops on ways to integrate the use of clickers in the classroom, and videos of past workshops can be found on their website. You can also contact crte@ucmerced.edu for a consultation.

What can I do with clickers to enhance the classroom experience for my students?

  • Clickers can help make quieter students feel more comfortable in participating with classroom discussion or feedback.

  • Greater interactions between students and instructors are created through the use of clickers.

  • By using clickers, students may be more interested in the presented material.

Students:

How can clickers help facilitate my learning?

  • Throughout lectures, instructors can conduct simple assessments of student understanding and comprehension by using clicker questions, making sure all students are on the same page. It also helps those students who wouldn’t normally ask questions to give their feedback on the material.

How does my instructor know who I am when I use my clicker?

  • After purchasing your clicker from the campus Bookstore, you must register the Clicker ID through UCMCROPS via your course site (look for Turning Technologies tool on menu located on left-hand side of screen). Once your clicker is registered, every time a response is submitted using the clicker, your student ID will be associated with it, matching you to the response. If you need help registering your Clicker, please contact your instructor, IT Help Desk, or one of the Turning Technologies Student Interns.

Will I do better in classes where clickers are being used?

  • Generally, instructors that implement clickers in their classes have a better student turnout for lectures, and therefore students are more alert and focused in class.  Students have a better idea of the material that they need to focus on and pay more attention in class.  A case study was conducted at Cleveland State University where Dr. Connor McLennan implemented the use of clickers in his Behavioral Science Statistics class. After one semester of use he stated that, "The more the students felt they could use the ResponseCards and participate—they had safety and confidentiality answering through the ResponseCards—they were more comfortable to speak up, have discussions and ask questions in other areas, too."  Unfortunatly the case study is not longer avalible.

Using Clickers in Non-Academic Settings (sample scenarios):

How can clickers be used by Student Housing?

  • Student Housing can use clickers to poll residents’ opinions about various matters, including planned events, preferences for Dining Commons options, or satisfaction with their current housing situation.  Since residents are most likely freshmen, they would likely already own clickers (since many freshmen classes require the purchase of clickers).

  • Clickers can also be used by staff members for training employees and Resident Assistants about procedures and rules.  In a situation such as this, clickers could help supervisors ensure proper training via real time assessment during or after presentations.  Although the responses will appear anonymous during a presentation, reports can be generated afterwards with individual responses.

How can clickers be used in Student Health Services?

  • Clickers are great for assessing the knowledge and understanding of employees about unit responsibilities and policies.  During or after presentations, clickers can be used to ensure proper training via real time assessment.  Although the responses will appear anonymous during a presentation, reports can be generated afterwards with individual responses.

  • Clickers can also be used as a general polling device if Health Services was interested in what services students might be interested in or what kinds of workshops students would attend if offered.  This could be done easily by advertising the poll ahead of time and having students walk by a screen within range of the receiver and choose their responses to questions.

Additional Resources (no longer available)