Clickers and their modern-day counterparts, the BYOD (Bring your own device) alternatives, can be an engaging way to conduct formative assessment of large groups. (The current term for these tools is "classroom response systems.") Some faculty will use these tools for attendance (though care should be taken to eliminate the possibility of signing in for a friend) and also for at-home reviews.
- Digital Polling in the Classroom: To BYOD or not to BYOD? Interesting article at Vanderbilt University's Center for Faculty Development.
- Designing effective questions for classroom response system teaching. Though dated 2006, this article still has a lot to offer in terms of thinking how questions impact learning.
- Classroom Response Systems Overview article at Vanderbilt Center for Teaching
If you are interested in using any of these tools, first please use the free trial period to see if the tool fits your needs. If you then decide to implement the tool in your course, contact the TRC to find out if the campus will support a "Faculty Sandbox" license (i.e. pay for your registration).
- Kahoot! BYOD playable on smart phones, tablets or computers. Use multiple-choice questions to create a game to test students' knowledge. The leaderboard inspires competition. Games (called "kahoots") can be used in-class or for review. Three modes are available: Quiz (scores based on speed of correct answers), Discussion (one open-ended question) & Survey (an anonymous poll using multiple-choice). Note that players create their own player names.
- Socrative: Free and pro accounts available. Socrative is a BYOD that has several modes-- quizzes, exit tickets, quick questions, word clouds and games.
- TopHat: Free to teachers; $36/year for students. Three types of tools are available: Lecture/Classroom Response, Interactive Learning Materials and Content Marketplace (commercially available materials). Under the Lecture Tools, polls, attendance , quizzes (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, numeric, matching, click-and-point & sorting) and discussion features are available.
- Plickers: Free. This is a variation on a clicker system but only the instructor needs a device. When the question is displayed, students hold up their assigned Plicker card (the direction of the card indicates their answer). The instructor scans the room with a smartphone (iOS, Android or Google) and the students' answers are immediately recorded. Maximum of 63 students per class.
[Last updated December 2017]