Clickers in the ECC
David Vakil – firstname.lastname@example.org – 310-660-3134
November 1, 2007
What are clickers? What can you do with them?
Who can use them?
When are they available to you and your students?
Why should you use clickers?
Where do you get the equipment?
How do you get started?
Clickers enable you to do student-centered learning. Let’s
start with a “student”-centered activity, rather than with
me lecturing. This is what clickers are about.
Some examples of how
clickers can be used
By show of hands…
“Not enough students answer
questions that I ask during class.”
Not enough students answer
questions that I ask during class.
5 1. True
1 2. False
See how much the vote participation increases with clickers?
Which one of these words does NOT
contain a diphthong?
0 1. Join
0 2. Boy
0 3. Mouse
0 4. Cow
6 5. Zoology
PRE-TEST & POST-TEST STUDENTS TO
ASSESS LEARNING: A light year is a measure of
0 1. Time
5 2. Distance
Dave: Timed question!
Checking current understanding
A miniature astronomy lecture
The universe is 13.7 billion years old.
A light year is ____________________________.
IN-CLASS (next class?) FACT
CHECK: A light year is a measure of
As seen here, you can also visually compare to
questions, or, in this case, pre- and post-lecture
Purple = previous. Blue = current.
Ask the question
If results are between 50-90% correct,
consult with your neighbor and vote again
Usually results improve noticeably
Students understand and remember concept
Takes only 1 minute or less
MORE CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING:
It is possible for astronomers to detect an object 15 billion
light years away from Earth.
2. False 2
How many people are in this room?
0 1. 1
1 2. 2
0 3. 3
0 4. 4
0 5. 5
0 6. 6
1 7. 7
What are clickers?
Clickers send signals using Radio
frequency (RF) light to a computer.
Computer processes the data.
Radio light doesn’t require line-of-sight
Receiver is small and portable.
NEW clickers have a screen for direct
feedback to student; allows for clicker-
tests! (They use AAA batteries.)
What can you do with clickers?
Taking attendance (automatically calculated if any question is asked)
Classroom demographics – who are your students?
Gathering feedback about class or getting opinions
like/dislike activity, useful/useless, etc.
Quick assessment of recently covered material
Ask about facts or conceptual understanding.
No question is too easy to ask students. You’ll be amazed.
Build their confidence or shake yours!
Pre- and post-instruction questions. (Did they learn?)
Data gathering – very useful for SLOs, Accreditation
Cooperative learning: Think-pair-share
End of class summary
Beginning of class review
Determine if students did reading/homework
On-the-fly questions to suit whatever comes to mind
Information gathered by clicker
Which clickers responded to the question
What answer each clicker gave to each question
If multiple answers given, order is saved
Can be used for entering multi-digit numbers/decimals or
How long it took each clicker (student) to answer
When a question is re-polled, both answers sets
Results are easily exported to Excel
Who can use clickers?
Anybody with basic knowledge of computers
Knowledge of PowerPoint helpful, but not required.
New version of TurningPoint software (called
“TurningPoint Anywhere”) can be used outside of
PowerPoint. Also available for Macs.
When are they available to you and
If you’re interested in using them in your classes
or even just trying them out, stay tuned and let’s
talk after this presentation.
Hoping to purchase classroom sets of clickers
Having students buy the clickers doesn’t work very
well for teacher or student. Also, can’t sell back.
Why you should use clickers…
Effects clickers have had on my classes
Physics 2A: summer 2007/2006 vs. summer 2003
Success: 29/35 = 83%; 31/44 = 70% 28/49 = 57%
Retention: 31/35 = 89%; 42/44 = 95% 30/49 = 61%
Success (percent who passed) in Astr 25 went up by 9%.
Success in Astronomy 20 increased 15%
Data were compiled from my spreadsheets. Therefore numbers aren’t exact.
I estimate attendance is 60% w/o clickers & 75% with,
Note: clicker participation counts little towards grades.
Research at 4-year schools shows attendance at 85%.
Similar research shows students read the text more, are more
interested in the course, and have a more positive attitude
towards the course.
When I don’t use clickers during class, I get complaints!
Students like clickers and learn from using them.
More reasons why you should consider
using clickers in your classes
Just-in-time teaching is available with pre-tests (clicker? Do you know?)
Immediate feedback – to you AND your students
Gets everyone actively (not passively) involved (anonymous)
Especially shy students!
Early and frequent assessment
Diagnose and fix bad lectures/activities
Catch poor students quickly, start troubleshooting early
Scantron forms are obsolete. Clickers provide more data, helps you
write better tests. Also faster grading.
Attendance increases (in my class, research)
Retention increases (in my class, research)
Success increases (in my class, according to lots of research)
We can use clickers to gather data for SLOs, as needed
The following slides show some other things
you can do with clickers.
MULTI-ANSWER: Which of the following are NOT types
of electromagnetic radiation? Select all that apply.
1. Gamma rays
6. Sound waves
8. Radio waves
Improve in-class demonstrations
Explain the demo set-up
Have students predict the outcome
Do the demonstration
Specifically ask students “Was your prediction
correct?” (De-isolate, recognize intuition can be
I will drop a pen and a crumpled piece of
paper. Which will hit the ground first?
2 1. The pen will hit the ground first.
2 2. They will hit the ground at the same time.
1 3. The paper will hit the ground first.
I will now perform the demonstration
Quizzes & Tests
These clickers can handle tests & quizzes
The software is different, not as user-friendly (yet)
Requires some student training of the clickers, so I
won’t demonstrate that now.
Where do you get the equipment?
Clickers – cost $45 + Shipping & Handling. Need
classroom sets. Class set of 45 costs ~$2500. 40 = $2200.
Receiver – needed to get the signals from the clickers. You
get this from me.
Natural Science received I-grant from ECC Foundation to
purchase receivers for entire division. We decided to share.
I have 31 receivers to distribute.
Have your dean ask me to send __(how many?)___ receivers to
your division office. [Accounting]
Software to interpret the signals.
Download from web site: www.turningtechnologies.com.
I will be setting up a local web page with more info soon.
How do I get started?
Get the receiver (and purchase a clicker)
Staff Development has a set to use in their training room.
Train yourself for the software
Read the manual
Staff Development classes coming soon
Start small in your classes
On a scale of 1-10, how useful was this
Mean = 9.8333
presentation? 1=bad, 10=good
0 1. 1
0 2. 2
0 3. 3
0 4. 4
0 5. 5
0 6. 6
0 7. 7
0 8. 8
1 9. 9
5 10. 10
There are a LOT of things you can do with clickers in
Method of student-centered learning
They dramatically increase learning
Particularly well-suited for lecture classes
Now available campus-wide
PLEASE FILL OUT THE FLEX