Classroom response systems (CRS) are communication technologies that can enhance student engagement and learning in large classes and facilitate classroom management tasks. They are also known simply as “clickers.”
Some clickers are purchased as a physical device and some are purchased as an application for a mobile device. Applications on mobile devices are often referred to as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies. Some clicker companies offer integrated solutions that work with physical clickers and BYOD.
There are multiple considerations for clicker adoption at UCF. If you would like to implement clickers into one or more of your courses, please consider the following:
1. Choose a product
UCF faculty members are free to use any clicker system they choose and the Faculty Center does not endorse any third-party vendors. In order to facilitate the process, we do work with several companies that have a presence on campus. These products have been vetted to ensure they meet all of UCF’s standards for educational technologies. While you are welcome to use another company, you would need to have the company vetted for UCF standards, indicated in the following steps.
There are several vendors available. UCF does not have a standardized vendor, allowing faculty to use the system of their choice: iClicker, Poll Everywhere, Top Hat, and TurningTechnologies. Click here for a side-by-side comparison of their features and types of polling questions.
If you decide to adopt one of these technologies, you may skip many of the steps below (as indicated). For more information contact the Faculty Center or individual vendors.
There are two free options you could also consider. One involves building an online survey at Qualtrics (UCF has an institutional license) and then displaying a QR code in your lecture–ideally a single question per code. You’ll get honest answers from students since it’s anonymous, and no one has to buy anything. But you won’t get instant results that display in a graph, and this won’t work for accountability.
For an option with accountability, use regular Canvas quizzes and just release them at the moment you want students to respond, right there in class with their own device. Again, you won’t be able to see a pretty graph of results, but you will gain engagement and accountability without costing any money.
2. Adopt clickers through the UCF Bookstore
To comply with the Textbook Affordability Act and UCF’s textbook regulation, orders for all instructional materials must be submitted no later than 60 days in advance of the start of the semester. Clickers and other courseware are considered an “instructional material” and, therefore, are held to the same requirements as textbooks.
Virtual clickers run on student devices. Students may purchase an access code from the UCF Bookstore to pay for the software. Students who are on financial aid must purchase access codes from the UCF Bookstore to avoid any out-of-pocket expenses, so it is important that these adoptions be reported and marked as “required materials.”
To report your adoptions to the bookstore, you can either:
- Use Adoptions Insight Portal: Choose “I’d like to be guided through the adoption process” and search by ISBN or keyword for the Classroom Response System you are using. If you have previously adopted these materials, you may also choose to re-adopt them using the one-click adopt feature.
- Email your adoption choices to email@example.com
3. Enable gradebook integration for Webcourses
Many clickers have the ability to integrate with Webcourses, including the four technologies listed above. This means that grades can automatically be transferred from the clicker system to the Webcourses gradebook from within the Webcourses platform. Integration can be enabled for individual courses or instructors, select departments, or entire colleges.
To enable other clicker integration into your courses, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: 1) name of the course(s), including section number (Ex: UCF 1500-0001); and 2) the name of the clicker system.
4. Update your syllabus
If clickers are going to be a required material for your class (which is recommended), they must be listed in your syllabus as such. You may want to also consider adding clicker-related policies to your syllabus regarding bringing devices to class, forgotten devices, and malfunctioning technology.
5. Maintain data security standards
Since many of the newer classroom response systems, especially BYOD systems, transmit protected student data, the systems must meet UCF data security standards. The aforementioned products have already been vetted for UCF’s data security standards through the Information Security Office. If you would like to use a different product, you would need to initiate the process by which companies are vetted for data security. Both you and the company would jointly submit the third-party data security assurance questionnaire to the Information Security Office.
Once the company has been vetted for data security, make sure to handle student data appropriately.
6. Consider accessibility needs
These products are undergoing testing for ADA compliance by UCF’s Student Accessibility Services. If you receive a letter from Student Accessibility Services about a student that needs accommodations and are unsure what clicker accommodations need to be made, contact SAS.