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Classroom Response Clickers



An iClicker is a 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.

What are clickers?

The classroom response clicker system uses wireless technology (iCllcker devices) to facilitate student engagement with course content and provide a snapshot view of learner understanding during class. These systems are similar to the audience polling devices seen on television shows in which audience members vote.

As students submit their “votes” (answers to questions posed by the instructor) using their clicker, the responses are picked up by a small receiver unit plugged into a computer. These responses are recorded and collated, and the aggregated data can be displayed on-screen as a bar graph or histogram. This gives immediate feedback to students and the instructor about the learning in that class.

What kinds of teaching strategies could I use with clickers?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Lecture with questions following – This helps to gauge how well students are “getting it” and reinforces important ideas.
  • Pop quiz – Can be given at the beginning of class over previously assigned reading, content covered in an earlier class session, or at the end to determine learning progress.
  • Answer/pair/answer – This technique consists of having students respond to a question, then having students work in pairs to discuss their answers, then answering again.
  • Confidence levels – This can be used in conjunction with other questions (i.e., asking, “Indicate how confident you are in your answer by pressing 0 for not at all and 5 for very confident”) or to indicate overall confidence in understanding the day’s material.
  • Polling – Using the anonymous feature, you can assess student opinions to spark class discussion regarding issues related to course content.
  • Muddiest point – The main points covered in the class period are listed and students asked which, if any, are still confusing to them. This can help to plan the following class lesson plan, or time can be allowed to cover the most frequently cited item before the class ends.

How to use clickers in KU classrooms

Clickers can be used in any classroom in which there is a computer and data projector available. The only additional piece of equipment required is the clicker receiver that plugs into one of the computer’s USB ports. Several auditoria on campus (Wescoe, Budig, etc.) have receivers permanently available for faculty use, but if you are scheduled in a classroom without a clicker receiver, contact us and we’ll provide one. Software for using the system is freely available for download (see "Access").

Ordering clickers for your courses

If you choose to adopt iClickers in your classroom, you'll need to contact the KU Bookstore to be sure they order clickers for your course. Students will purchase the clickers at the KU Bookstore just as a textbook. Students will register their clickers in their course Blackboard site. Clicker registration allows course instructors to match students' responses to the students. After purchasing a clicker, there is no cost to the student to register their clicker for your course.

Optional Mobile App:
Instructors have the option to allow the use of the REEF Polling App, which allows students to use their personal laptops, mobile devices or smartphones as an iClicker. If you intend to allow students to use the iClicker mobile app (REEF), you will need to be using software version 7.4.1. If your students will not be using the mobile app, you can continue to use the older version (6.4.2).


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KU has adopted the clicker system as a university-wide standard to reduce the financial burden on students and to facilitate technical support.


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. See “Access” to download required software.


Purchase an iClicker Device:
iClicker hand-held devices are available for purchase at the KU Bookstore. Contact KU Bookstore for the latest pricing information. There is no cost to students to register their clicker for a course.

REEF Polling App (paid subscription):
Some instructors allow the use of the REEF Polling App, which allows students to use their personal laptops, mobile devices or smartphones as an iClicker. REEF Polling is a subscription service. Students can purchase semester licenses or five-year licenses. See REEF Polling for the latest pricing information.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many instructors require the use of dedicated iClicker devices. Consult your course syllabus and/or check with your instructor prior to purchasing a subscription to the REEF Polling App of iClicker service.

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