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Clickers (Student Response System)

News (November 30, 2012)

Skidmore College hosted a NERCOMP Strategic Interest Group (SIG) meeting on clicker use on April 27, 2012. Professor Leo Porter (Math and Computer Science) presented along with Ben Harwood (Academic Technologies).

New Clicker kit loaner policy (effective Spring semester 2013)
Clicker kits consist of student clickers, a base station, and a USB cable and are available for short-term or semester loan. Academic Technologies has enough clickers to accommodate short-term faculty needs. For faculty interested in the semester-loan option, please contact us prior to the start of the semester so that an order can be placed with the vendor in a timely manner. At the end of the semester, the faculty collect the clickers from students and return the clicker kit. If a clicker is lost, the student will be billed $50 (or current clicker value, whichever is larger) to her/his bursar account. Broken clickers will be replaced at no cost.

Faculty using clickers in their course are encouraged to provide students with the following information in the syllabus:“Clickers will be used in this class.  As Skidmore College believes in providing students with the best pedagogical practices possible, clickers are made available to students at no student cost.  The instructor will lend a clicker, provided by Academic Technologies, to the student at the start of the term.  If a clicker breaks, a replacement will be provided at no cost.  Lost clickers will be replaced, but will result in a charge to the student of $50 to his/her bursar account.”

What is a "clicker?"
The clicker is a student response system (SRS) that can encourage active student participation. These devices provide immediate and anonymous feedback about how well students understand key concepts. Very little up front training is required. The hardware consists of an instructor clicker, student clickers, and a base station that plugs into any podium or laptop computer. To learn more about classroom applications, please reference the ELI document: "7 things you should know about clickers."

How are faculty at Skidmore using clickers in the classroom?
Clickers are used in active-learning settings, for individual student feedback and peer instruction. Clickers can be used to monitor administrative functions such as recording attendance, participation, and also quiz results.

Essential how-to links from theiclicker support website.

Additionally, you might refer to theFaculty Case Studies (organized by discipline) andBest Practices and Tips.

Recommended reading:
Tips for Successful "Clicker" Use - Dr. Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado, 2009

Clickers in the Classroom: An Active Learning Approach From a liberal arts college   perspective, Margie Martyn teaches in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.

Clicker U. This is a current and very good description of clickers across higher education. There are many comments at the bottom of the page by faculty using clickers. Also, there are links to other clicker related articles.

Clicker resource guide: An instructor's guide to the effective use of clickers in teaching.

Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt, Classroom Response Systems.

Published Articles on Using Student Response Systems:
Clicking with Students.The Boston Globe, April 2, 2009.
Best ways for Professors to Use Student-Response Systems.Chronicle of Higher Education


For more information or technical questions about this page, please contact Ben Harwood in Academic Technologies at