PowerPoint presentations have long since replaced the overhead projector in the role of sharing materials with groups of students in lecture halls and seminar rooms. PowerPoint allows lecturers to draw upon and incorporate a wide range of media formats; using websites, video clips, images, diagrams and animations to support and enhance teaching is now commonplace.
However, engaging with each and every student in a way that allows lecturers to test their understanding, interact easily, and respond to student experiences, is still challenging. It is in this area that Clickers can enhance and even transform the way we communicate with students in this setting.
What are Clickers?
A Clicker is a small radio transmitting keypad with which students are provided at the beginning of a lecture. Each student can use it to respond quickly and anonymously to pre-prepared questions incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation. The results of the polls/tests can be displayed instantly on the screen.
Clickers - and a USB Receiver - can be booked and borrowed from the Audio visual Team
Using a downloadable plug-in for PowerPoint, interactive questions can be added to new or existing PowerPoint presentations.
Most of the teaching room PCs at Royal Holloway are equipped with the plug-in, in support of the need to 'turn-up-and-teach'
What is ResponseWare?
ResponseWare turns a student's web-enabled mobile device or tablet into a virtual clicker. Students are then able to respond to polling questions via an app or website.
Benefits of ResponseWare / Clickers
Using ResponseWare / Clickers, lecturers are able to:
- quickly measure students' comprehension,
- painlessly test problem-solving skills and performance
- provide prompt feedback to students
- invite, capture, share, and display student opinion
- if appropriate, record and export results for further analysis and/or discussion.
With ResponseWare / Clickers, students are able to:
- provide anonymous feedback to the cohort and lecturer
- receive instant feedback on their understanding / performance
- participate in a familiar 'interactive' or 'game-based' environment
Advantages of Responseware over Clickers:
- Students can use their own devices; smart phones, tablets or laptops
- Lecturing staff can save time by removing the need to book, collect, distribute and retrieve Clickers
- Interactivity in lectures is no longer dependent upon availability of Clickers
How to get started with ResponseWare / Clickers
- Download and install the plug-in for PowerPoint
- Visit the Using Clickers resource in Moodle (includes links to apps, technical and pedagogical advice)
- Contact the E-Learning Team for advice and training
- Contact the Audio visual Team to book Clickers and a Receiver
How lecturers are using ResponseWare / Clickers
- To generate and collect data in support of lecture content, e.g., Psychology lectures on perception
- To provide in-lecture tests and polls to measure, and then respond, to learning
- To monitor attendance and deliver formative and summative in-class tests