What's a Clicker?

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Traditionally, a clicker has been a small physical device students use in class to answer discussion prompts and other questions. Typically the questions are multiple-choice questions shown on a PowerPoint slide. The students aim their clickers at the instructor's receiver station and press a key on the device that corresponds to their answer choice. While "clicker questions" during class are often of a survey type, the instructor's receiver can also funnel students' answers into the course gradebook, making clickers useful for collecting student work, taking attendance, etc. Pedagogically, clickers, when used well, are a great way to stimulate student engagement in large lecture classes.

Clickers in the Cloud

More recently, physical clickers have given way to smartphone apps. Instead of purchasing a separate device, students may be asked instead to purchase a subscription to a cloud-based service. In this case, they install an app onto a smartphone in order to participate.

Instructors can use clickers for engagement in face-to-face classes, synchronous online sessions, and even for asynchronous work in synchronous classes.

iClicker Instructor Information

iClicker is the standard clicker system at Stanislaus State (see below). The system can be used in two ways:

1. Use iClicker with physical clickers and instructor base station

  • Students purchase (or borrow) physical clicker and register the remote within the Canvas class
  • Instructor orders free base station for use in the classroom and installs iClicker Classic software for managing classes and polls
  • Students' clickers connect to base station in the class to register responses
  • Instructor manually transfers any graded responses into Canvas grade book

2. Use iClicker Cloud with smartphone apps and iClicker Cloud (recommended)

  • Students purchase iClicker Cloud subscription ($25/yr) and install app onto a smart device
  • Instructor creates free iClicker account for managing classes and polls
  • Instructor syncs Canvas roster with iClicker roster to enable grade pass-back
  • Students sync their Cloud account with the Canvas class
  • Instructor creates questions on PPT slides or other tool and displays them to the students (iClicker is not the tool to create questions)
  • Instructors transfer all clicker grades to Canvas grade book

Support Resources

Support and training for iClicker is handled by iClicker's support staff. OIT or OAT staff cannot login to a user's iClicker account in order to troubleshoot issues with the product.

Campus Clicker Standardization Documents

Following a resolution by the statewide Associated Students, the 23 CSU campuses were each asked by the CO to address the question of arriving at a standard clicker deployment for their campus. After studying this question throughout the 2011-2012 year, the Technology and Learning Subcommittee of UEPC at Stanislaus State recommended the campus standardize on iClicker's system, however the recommendation does not mandate the use of any specific clicker brand or tool.  This recommendation was approved by the Academic Senate in November 2012. 

Updated: October 21, 2022