Clickers in the Classroom
U of T St. George campus has recently committed to supporting a single vendor for its Classroom Response Systems. Sometimes known as "clickers", Classroom Response Systems are a type of polling system seen on some game shows like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." In an academic context, they have been shown to increase student engagement and learning, particularly in large classes.
Typically there are three steps to using this technology in the classroom:
- A multiple-choice question is posed to the class, perhaps via an overhead projector, PowerPoint, or similar presentation method.
- The students "vote" on the correct answer using their clickers.
- After the voting is over, a histogram showing the number of students who chose each answer is shown to the class.
Clickers will be available to students from the U of T Bookstore, at a price of approximately $35 per unit. Students may use the same clicker in all classes that use them. Clickers can be ordered in the same way you order textbooks for your course. The vendor selected for UofT St. George campus is i-clicker (www.iclicker.com). The main benefit of selecting one vendor is that students will only be asked to purchase one unit, and it will work in all their classes that use a Classroom Response System.
Base units and the software required to tabulate responses are free of charge to any instructor who uses i-clicker. They will be available from the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI), http://www.utoronto.ca/ota. Please contact CTSI at ctsi [dot] teaching (at)utoronto [dot] ca or (416) 946-3139.