considerations in planning to support students
Students will need support in three main errors:
- Obtaining a clicker
- Registering a clicker
- Using a clicker
You will find detailed information on each of these support areas as well as links to specific materials, tools, and information developed and utilized by each campus.
Obtaining a clicker
Students (depending on their university) have three options in obtaining
a clicker for their course:
- Purchase a clicker at the Bookstore
- Rent a clicker from the Library (or other area)
- Check out a clicker in-class
Depending on what type of vendor your campus has chosen, students will most likely need to purchase a clicker from the campus bookstore. The other possible options could be renting the clicker from a department on campus, or in small classes, students can check out a clicker from the instructors.
- UW Milwaukee and UW Oshkosh implemented bookstore models due to previous use on campus and the large size of the quanitity of users on campus. The bookstore model resulted in a negotiation of a pricing structure with the vendor as well as a the fostering of a relationship with the bookstore to sell, exchange, and buy-back clickers.
- UW Whitewater chose to have their students rent clickers due to the small number of student users and the pilot status of their projects. With the increase in users, UW Whitewater has moved to clicker purchasing from the bookstore as well.
- UW Eau Claire managed a clicker checkout program at the start of each class.
Registering a clicker
After obtaining a clicker, students will need to register their clicker ID through a registration process so that the faculty member can track their activity in class. Some vendors offer their own site to do this, while other vendors have assisted organizations in developing their own registration system. Once the students have registered, the instructor will need to obtain updated class lists with the students information and clicker id.
Examples of campus registration systems:
UW Milwaukee and UW Whitewater chose to develop their own web-based clicker registration systems that were integrated with the student information system and captured students' clicker IDs in order to produce class lists or rosters that were delivered electronically to instructors. UW Eau Claire and UW Oshkosh used registration systems provided by the vendors. UW Eau Claire used Turning Technologies' Data Enterprise Manager, while UW Oshkosh used the CPS/eInstruction web site for student clicker registration.
Using a clicker
Students need instructions and training on how to use clickers and need to have someone they can contact when they need support.
UWM Sample Student Handout
Tips in helping students use clickers:
- Faculty members should perform in-class demos for studnets to understand registering and using a clicker
- Student satisfaction with clickers is impacted on whether or not they received training on using the clicker - train your students!
- Some clickers require them to be turned on, to be programmed, and to have a sequence of entries when submitting a response - train your students!
- Faculty members need to consider how clicker failure will be handled -- What is Plan B when clickers fail?
- A campus needs to determined how support will be provided -- Who is responsible for helping the student troubleshoot their clicker problems: the instructor? the IT department? the bookstore?
- Create a student help desk for student problems with registering and using clickers.
- Develop a student handout or help materials to be distributed to students through their instructors or a web page in order for them to help them with obtaining, registering, and using a clicker.