Alec Johnson, Ben Krueger, Emily Loose, Alicia Oberg, Allison Fritsch

What exactly are clickers? Clickers are a small keypad that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Students can use clickers for a multiple-choice survey, in class quiz or clickers can be used as a form of attendance. There is a wireless receiver in the computer that collects all the answers that are sent from the student's keypad. There is unique software also in the computer which shows the different questions along with a graph showing the responses of the students. There is also a way for the computer to show the correct answer if it is appropriate for that specific question in class.

Why are clickers used? Like I quickly went over previously, there is a variety of reasons to use clickers in the classroom. Teachers can use clickers to asses and evaluate their student's understand of specific topic before covering that topic in class. This gives the teacher an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the class and allows the teacher to know which area of the topic to spend more time on and which part they could skip if the students had a good enough understanding on it. Teachers can also use clickers to check to make sure students understand specific information after they have already taught the concept. Clickers can be used to survey a class to get the students opinion on certain questions along with being a quick way to take attendance. One final way teachers can use clickers is by having students take a quiz which will give them direct feedback.

Benefits/Ways of using clickers in a classroom:
Each student can participate and be included, but no one has to feel embarrassed of their answer because it all all anonymous.
The shy students in the class also get a say in the questions because they are being asked without feeling overpowered.
When working with controversial questions or topics this is sometimes the best way to go so no one knows each others opinions.
The students can be honest about their answers seeing they won't be judged for the choice they made.
As a teacher you can do quiz's on any topis that gets graded right away and matched with the students id number that is assigned with the clicker.
All the information that the students use with the clicker can be used with data if you are in math or doing a science experiment.
Teachers can use the clickers to check for understanding during a discussion without making it a big deal.
If a teacher is trying to see if the students need more time or if you are trying to choose between 2 art projects, you can take a survey with the clickers.
In college or large classrooms this can be a easy way to check for attendance.
If you assigned homework for math you can have the answers up on the board and see who all got them right by clicking in what they got.    
Clickers enable actively engaged students during the entire class period.
Students are provided immediate feedback to questions that are asked.

Using clickers can open up a discussion if there is problems with certain answers that people need help with.

Teachers are provided with data immediately after teaching a subject to see how well the students comprehended the lesson.  

    -This information can be used to alter the lesson and further explain any confusion the students may still have.

Teachers can see you needs extra help in the classroom after reviewing the responses, and give them the help they need.

Can be used before a lesson to see what the students already know.  If they get questions wrong, it motivates them to pay attention, and if they are right

    then it become positive reinforcement for them.

Challenges when using clickers in the classroom can include:
- students may need different time needs to answer questions using a clicker.
- each student uses a different kind of thinking such as drawing, acting it out or creating a story problem for example.
- the clicker may become distracting to the student while others are answering the questions.
- students might try to get the "right" answer by seeing how their classmates answer, which means correct answers may not represent actual understanding.
-the students may forget their clickers the day they need them
-there clickers may not always work

-If in a larger class some students might give their clicker to others to respond to questions when they are not there. (if clickers are used for attendance)
-Students might only pay attention when answering clicker questions and not to the teachers lecture.  

-Students can become demotivated if they see that the rest of the class is understanding the concepts more than they are.

Techniques for Using Clickers in the Classroom:
1. Keep slides short to ensure students ability to read and understand what is being said or asked of them.
2. Keep the number of answering options to around five. Too many choices can intimidate students while too few choices may make the answer obvious.
3. Keep It Simple; do not make the questions too complex. Students may answer wrong because of confusion over complex words.
4. Allow enough time for students to answer questions. Some general guidelines when it comes to time allowed:
- Classes fewer than 30 students: 15-20 seconds per question

- Classes of 30 to 100 students: 30 seconds per question
- Classes of more than 100 students: one minute per question
6. Arrange lecture time to be able to have discussion time between questions to ensure students full understanding and to clear up any confusion.
7. Encourage students to actively discuss with one another about the questions and answers.
8. Do not overload students with questions. Use questions to enhance key points.
9. Position the questions at random times throughout the presentation to keep the students on their toes.
10. Include an icon or a prompt to inform the students that a question is being asked so they are able to differentiate between lecture slides and question slides.
11. Provide a "correct answer" indicator to show the students the correct or most appropriate answer.
12. Be sure to include a "response grid" so students are sure that the answer they gave has registered in the computer system.
13. Set a timer that students are able to see so they are aware of how much time they will be given to answer the question.
14. Before using the technology in the classroom test it out to make sure you understand how it works and fix any issues before class.
15. Provide clear and simple instructions on how to use the clickers to the students so they are not confused or frustrated when the questions are being asked.
16. Do not overuse the clickers and the system or it will lose its engagement potential to students.
17. Use regularly during the semester (at least 75% pf lectures)
18. Use several times per lecture (every 10-15 minutes) as a refocusing point.
19. Use clickers at the beginning of class to review assigned problems.  
20. Turn questions asked by students into class questoins, get a few answers from the class and use these as the answer options.
21. Use clicker responses for credit, but have a balance between participation and success.
22. Don't make answers worth excessive credit or students may ask others to click for them.

Best Practices

Give students credit when using a clicker, but don’t just grade them on attendance or quizzes. Use a clicker for participation points and give them credit for answering whether the students have the correct answer or not. This way the students will feel relaxed in your classroom.

The clickers are designed to keep the students attention. This is why a common mistake is to overload too many questions at once. A clicker question should appear every 10-20 minutes and should only be used 3-4 times throughout the class period.  It has been reported that students lose their attention after 10 minutes. This is why a clicker question should be implemented into the lecture every 10 minutes to avoid losing your students attention. (Also stated above)

Learn the basic problems that your students might run into when using the clicker. One should go into the classroom expecting that clickers are foreign to the students. Make sure your students know how to change the channels and other basic essentials. Learn how to save sessions after every class period. If one doesn’t save the data that he/she just collected, the clickers are useless.

Do not just use clickers to keep attendance! One has to remember that students pay money for the clickers and they will be very agitated if the instructor only uses the clickers for attendance.

Be sure to be clear with your students what you expect out of them when they use their clickers. Make it clear how they should handle technical difficulties. Explain to your students how the grading works and let them know if they have a problem don’t just ignore it because it might affect their grade. If a student has a problem tell them to write their answers on a piece of paper and hand it in after class so they can obtain the necessary points.


If you notice that the majority of the students get the question wrong don’t just move on to the next question. The light should go off in your head and realize that the students need more clarity when it comes to this particular topic. Have the students discuss among themselves and give explanations of what they think that correct answer should be. Once the students have cleared up their minds have them re-answer the question.

A beneficial way for an instructor to see how the students are progressing is to take a pre- and post test on a unit or chapter. Have the students answer multiple questions before and after a certain chapter to see how well you got your point across and it also lets the students see how much they have learned.


If you assign your students a reading for homework, start your lesson off with a couple questions relating to the reading. This allows you to see if they comprehended what they read or even if they read at all. This also makes sure that all your students start the class with the same knowledge. Even if a student didn’t do the reading the class period won’t be a total loss.

 Disadvantages in clicker use!

When reading through this case study I found that along with many advantages there were disadvantages as well.  The study found that while clickers create enjoyment, they also create dissatisfaction with the main course.  I think that this is because when you are using clickers students are not spending time writing notes and they are more focused on the clicker question.  The study also showed strong evidence that test scores are minimally associated with clickers.  

The study also said that there has been declining engagement when clickers are used in the classroom.  I think that this is due to the fact that when you are using clickers there is minimal discussion from professors and teachers.  When introducing clickers into the classroom we as teachers need to make sure that we are discussing the questions and the problems that come up when each question is answered.  

We as teachers need to make sure that we are using the technology effectively.  If we want our students to get beneficial learning from using technology in our classroom we need to make sure that we are not relying solely on teaching with the clickers. 

Another downside of using clickers is the cost.  

Other Considerations

Make sure to only use one clicker system in the school.  If a student has to carry around multiple clickers, then the effectiveness of the system is drastically reduced.

It is important to know when and how to ask a question.

Question design should focus on student learning and engagement, covering key concepts rather than just "teaching to the exam."

Adopting clickers will take some adjustment in your style of teaching.  Questions need to be asked and have time dedicated to them, but even though you may get through less content, the content you do get through will be discussed in great detail and will be beneficial to the students. 


-Using Clickers in the College Classroom:   Click

-Explaining to the Students Why:   Click

-Do Clickers Help Students Learn?   Click 

-Clickers in the Elementary Classroom:   Click 

-Clickers in Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School Click

-Clickers in Wichita Public Schools  Click

-Clickers in North Dallas High School Click

-Clickers in Boulder Valley Schools Click


-Classroom Clickers Make the Grade:   Click

-Clickers in the Large Classroom:   Click

-An Active Learning Approach:   Click

Clicker Activities:

These websites are great to have student's use their clickers to use.

*Click on a picture to check out each site!

*freerice.com For every question you answer correctly,
FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice through the UN
World Food Program to help end hunger.

*quizzes for students on all types of topics

*compare quiz scores with students nationally

*power points on every subject

Five ways to engage students using clickers in the classroom:

1) Peer Marketing:
-Students can do an activity. Clickers provide an easy way to collect peer assessment or ideas from the class instead of having students write down their grades.
2) Assessment guiding teacher instruction:
-Want to see how well your students understand the lesson? Ask a multiple choice question and you can instantly see how well your students are doing. This allows you to focus on the most popular incorrect answer and better educate the students.
3) Assessment as student feedback:
-Give students a multiple choice practice quiz. Hand out questions on paper and then set up the clickers so students can go through the test at their own pace. This also allows you to set up some questions to immediate feedback so students can know whether they got the question right or wrong right away.
4) Opinion polls:
-Voting for something in your class? Clickers can be set up to record the student's name with their vote or you can select the option to keep it anonymous. The results can be shown in many different ways including a bar or pie graph.
5) Game show style lessons or quiz:
-Set up an interactive class lesson like a game show. This allows students a fun way to learn a new lesson or take a quiz, the students are audience members who vote in response to the questions.


Benefits of Clicker Technology. (n.d.). Engaging Technologies...Educating a New Generation. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://www.engaging-technologies.com/clicker-technology.html

Classroom Clickers.Classroom Clickers. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from http://www.classroomclickers.com/

Educause Quartely.
Clickers in the Classroom: An Active Learning Approach. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/ClickersintheClassroomAnActive/157458

Lynch, Marie A. Clicker Teaching Tips: Using Classroom Response Systems with Special Needs Students in Elementary Inclusion Classrooms. Retrieved December 3, 2011, from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CG8QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.ric.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1262%26context%3Dfacultypublications&ei=d9fWTvXjIqGs2gWErtzRBQ&usg=AFQjCNGU06awRi7SFrBFMzK6byVkHSreIg&sig2=QRVHLlEy3YHij_YyNKa3Hg

University of Pennsylvania Arts and Science. Using "clickers" in the classroom. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://www.sas.upenn.edu/computing/node/194/

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Learning Technology Center, Student Response System. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/srs/faculty/best_practices.cfm

Morgan, Robin K. "Exploring the Pedagogical Effectiveness of Clickers."


ITBL. "Using Clickers to Engage Students and Enhance Learning." ITBL ELearning. Web. 22 Dec. 2011. <http://tlc.ucalgary.ca/resources/library/itbl/using-clickers/using-clickers.pdf>.
"Clickers in the News." CPS "clickers" in New Mexico. Web. 22 Dec. 2011. <http://www.team1stllc.com/clickersinthenews.html>.