Clickers — icons

At a Glance

  • Student Response System
  • Poll students and display results on projection screen
  • Demonstrate concepts based on students' aggregated data

Description/Overview

An iClicker is a handheld, wireless, voting device (student response system) that allows instructors and students to dynamically interact through questions and answers in real time. When students submit their answers, the aggregated data may be displayed on-screen in a variety of ways. This gives immediate feedback to students and the instructor.

KU has adopted the iClicker system as a university-wide standard. There is no cost to faculty to adopt the use of these devices, but there is some upfront work involved in setting up the software and planning lessons that incorporate the interactive features of the system.

Teaching Impact

In a typical class, there are always a few big talkers and several silent attendees. Clickers provide an opportunity for total student participation and keeps all students actively involved in the class. Clickers can also do anonymous polling for sensitive questions, and allows the teacher to gauge comprehension immediately and adjust lecture content as needed. It is ideal for involving more students in large lecture halls and for conducting frequent informal assessments, which has been proven to be effective in raising achievement. Mayer et al. (2009) predicted that “the clicker treatment will lead to greater student–teacher interaction, which encourages deeper cognitive processing during learning, which in turn will be reflected in improvements in exam score in the course (53)

Addison, S., Write, A., and Milner, R. (2009). Using clickers to improve student engagement and performance in an introductory biochemistry class.  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 37 (2), 84-91.

Prezler, Ralph et al. (2006). Assessment of Effects of Student Response Systems on Student Learning and Attitudes over a Broad Range of Biology Courses. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 6, 29-41. Retrieved from the Life Sciences website

Mayer, R.E. et al. (2009).Clickers in college classrooms: Fostering learning with questioning methods in large lecture classes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 51–57. Retrieved from the Networking and Multimedia Systems Laboratory

Getting Started

If you are interested in using clickers in your classes, contact KU Information Technology at itedtech@ku.edu or call 864-2600. We offer training year-round and because we work with you one-on-one, we can accommodate your busy schedule. This allows us to tailor the instruction specifically to your needs. The instructor kit includes a flash drive that contains the software and is designed to be used for the storage of the polling data.

Additional Resources

You can find additional and more detailed information on KU Technology's iClicker support page.

Center for Teaching Excellence:


Consulting Resources

KU IT Educational Technologists provide insight and expertise in helping you choose the most effective tools and resources to meet your teaching and technology needs and achieve your desired outcome. Please contact us at 864-2600 or ITEdTech@ku.edu.

The KU Center for Online and Distance Learning provides instructional design and course development services to help faculty with hybrid and online courses.  Contact them for an appointment to discuss your course project at 864-1000 or onlinelearning@ku.edu.

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