"Clickers" in The Classroom

Many students are passive in class, yawning frequently with eyes glazed over, mindlessly recording notes, and not really processing the content. Instructors may insert questions throughout the lecture, but most students won’t raise their hand to attempt an answer. Valuable in-class active learning opportunities are being lost. What can the nurse educator do to encourage active class participation? Nurses Announcements Archive Article

Einstruction's classroom performance systems (cps) is an efficient way to elicit student responses during class and increase learner participation. CPS "clickers" are small handheld radio frequency response pads that look like a tiny TV remote and are easy to use during a classroom activity, lecture, or Powerpoint presentation.

Advantages include jump-starting class discussions, making large classes more interactive, encouraging student participation, providing instantaneous feedback, saving time grading, and gauging student understanding of course content (especially those difficult-to-understand "trouble spots").

The "clickers" may be used to take attendance or provide instant feedback to polling or questions. Quiz questions may be posted in class through an overhead or powerpoint presentation slide.

The responses from the class are gathered and compiled via a wireless receiver and instantly analyzed. That way, the instructor can adapt lecture content to conform to the immediate feedback. Clickers can also be integrated with online learning systems, such as blackboard or webct.

Examinations can be given using the "clicker" system, with instant feedback for instructors. This makes grading a cinch. Troublesome scantrons are no longer needed. Test items need to be either multiple choice or true-false. "clickers" do not readily accommodate the "select-all-that-apply" format questions.

CPS permits students to:

  • Respond anonymously to in-class questions
  • Participate in every class response
  • Evaluate their understanding immediately
  • Identify difficult course content
  • Actively participate during class

CPS permits educators to:

  • Evaluate student understanding before teaching a concept
  • Evaluate student understanding instantly after teaching a content
  • Adapt lecture content based on identifiable needs

Einstruction offers online training for the CPS system, including a video series and instructor-led, online seminars. Phone support is available Monday-Friday until 5pm at 888-333-4988. More information is available at Einstruction's customer support site.

The clickers cost approximately $22 each and can be used for multiple classes during multiple semesters. The clickers are purchased at participating university or college bookstores. Each semester, the student will be charged a one time fee of $13.00 by Einstruction. Paying this fee enables the student to use the clicker for all classes during that semester. If the student uses the clicker over multiple semesters, the per semester registration fee will cap out after three semesters or $39.00. Each subsequent semester is then free.

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

Instructors definitely need proper tech support and training to know how to operate the clickers before trying them in the class, TessaW. To attempt to do otherwise can be a disastrous waste of precious class time.

Some of our nursing faculty use the clickers in class but have not used it to take tests because of problems encountered in the past. Our college is thinking about having the whole college use the same type of clickers so that the students do not have to buy different types of clickers for different classes. Has anyone else used the clickers for taking tests and which type of program do you use?

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

We had clickers in micro and A&P 2 (two separate schools). The school where I took micro had purchased them on behalf of the teachers who wanted to use them, and we id'd ourselves by entering our school-provided ID. The school where I took A&P did not buy them for students, but the teacher had a bunch that he handed out for us to use at the beginning of class (nice!). Again, we id'd ourselves with our school-provided ID. No cheating possible because the clickers stayed in the classroom.

I liked them because both teachers used them for points AND for evaluating learning. If the answers were all over the place, the teacher took the time to re-explain the material. If a good majority of the class got the answer correct, he moved on.

I liked them. Good teaching tool if used properly.