Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

"Clicker" Committee Recommendation Released

This news item expired August 14, 2006. It may contain out-of-date information.
Following a 10-month pilot program, a committee analyzing student response systems, or "clickers", has made a recommendation. The committee is recommending that Iowa State standardize on a single clicker system, and that the TurningPoint clicker system by Turning Technologies, LLC provides the best features for the ISU campus. This recommendation follows a pilot program that utilized a different clicker called CPSrf, by eInstruction. Twenty faculty members and more than 3,000 students participated in the pilot program.

Clickers are devices that resemble television remote controls, and allow faculty to poll students during a class. A wide range of responses can be collected, including student opinion and group knowledge assessment. For instructors who desire, attendance can be taken, and class quizzes can be administered. Faculty around the country are finding clickers to be an engaging technology tool in the classroom.

The TurningPoint solution is different from the system used during the pilot program. The committee determined that TurningPoint offered not only a high-level pedagogical solution, but also offered a hybrid solution that other systems lacked. With the TurningPoint system, students can select either a hardware clicker or response software to be loaded on a laptop. Very soon, software will also be available for a student‘s cell phone or other portable technology device.

No semester fee is required for the TurningPoint system. Under the pilot program, eInstruction‘s CPSrf system required the purchase of a clicker, plus the purchase of a license each semester. TurningPoint only requires the initial purchase of the clicker, with no ongoing fees.

For students who purchased a clicker during the eInstruction pilot this past year, TurningPoint will provide a rebate that can be used toward the purchase of a TurningPoint clicker. The rebate will be administered through the University Book Store, and will effectively provide a full refund for eInstruction clickers purchased during this past year‘s pilot program.

Faculty who are interested in utilizing clickers this fall should contact Jim Twetten, Information Technology Services. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) will be offering faculty training on TurningPoint software at the beginning of the fall semester.

To view the complete Clicker Committee Final Report, contact Jim Twetten, IT Services.