i>clicker is the audience response system supported by the College of LSA as well as several other colleges at the University. It is a flexible, reliable, and user-friendly system that can be used to make classes more interactive and engaging by collecting instant feedback from students. This allows instructors to have a better overall picture of student understanding and improve student learning outcomes.

You might think, “That’s great, but how would it work in my classroom?”  It can be difficult to start using a new technology, and there’s a lot of misconceptions we hear from faculty - here is a list of those myths to help you think about whether or not i>clicker can help you and your students.

i>clicker Myths:

i>clickers are hard to use, expensive, and don’t have much support.

We’ve worked hard to make sure that support for i>clicker is comprehensive in LSA. We meet with instructors to set up the software, get them familiar with using it and syncing with Canvas, and help them plan lessons. The instructor remote is provided for free, and the vast majority of LSA classrooms already have the base stations in them (usually inside a podium drawer). Once the software is setup on the presentation computer, just plug the cable into the USB port and i>clicker is off and running! This can be more efficient than trying to collect and grade quizzes or otherwise gauge students’ grasp of the information. Students no longer have to wait days to get feedback because i>clicker gives immediate feedback.

i>clickers are only for factual information.

This is the most common misconception instructors have about i>clicker. While asking factual questions about the course material is a great entry point for i>clicker, the real benefits become apparent when students are more actively engaged ‒ applying the principles they are learning to solve complex problems and discussing their answers with a group.

i>clickers are only for big lectures in auditoriums.

Clickers can be a great way to help regulate discussions, even whole class discussions in smaller lectures, labs, or discussion sections. For example, the timer function can be used to help students gauge how much time they have for group discussion and remind each group to be prepared with an answer when time runs out.

i>clickers take too much time.

Using i>clicker for quizzes can help save time. i>clicker reduces the time spent waiting for students to find paper and pencil, grading paper quizzes, and entering grades manually. It decreases time spent trying to figure out if students “get it,” and allows instructors to immediately intervene when students are having trouble with concepts.

i>clickers are best for taking attendance and making sure students are paying attention.

Many institutions outright prohibit the use of student response systems for attendance. In large lectures, it’s virtually impossible to keep students from cheating the system and research suggests that using i>clicker for attendance can actually cause resentment and decrease engagement. Instead, try using i>clicker questions to inspire discussions centered around current events, case studies, or scenarios. Or, use clickers to review how concepts work together to keep students interested and feeling as if they are missing out by not being part of class.

i>clicker is available to use for both Mac and PC platforms. It syncs with Canvas course rosters and integrates with the Canvas grading system.

For more information about how to get started, see our i>clicker Support Page. Remember, i>clicker isn’t a magic bullet ‒ class activities need to be well-planned to get the full benefits and help students meet their learning goals. As with any technology,  i>clickers aren’t right for every class. For a guide to integrating engaging lessons, check out our resource for Improving Learning with i>clicker. To discuss using the system and how to best integrate new i>clicker activities into a course, contact a LTC instructional consultant at lsa-iss-iclicker@umich.edu or 734-615-0099.