What is a Classroom Response System?

Classroom Response Systems (CRS) are sometimes referred to as “clickers” or handheld wireless voting devices/cards. They are interactive systems that allow instructors to question students and see their answers in real time. The system at VIU consists of software, a receiver that plugs into a USB port in an accompanying laptop, and 40 student response cards.

Classroom Response Systems can be used in many ways. Please see “Ways to Use a Classroom Response System”. When good practice is utilized, a CRS can increase student motivation and engagement. Students appreciate the opportunity to participate in class in an anonymous format and also see how their responses fare compared with their classmates. A CRS provides faculty with a sense of students’ understanding, by providing immediate, visual feedback on responses to questions given in class. They allow instructors to tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students, and allow students to feel more in control of their learning.

Classroom response systems enable faculty to gain anonymous feedback during class. Classroom response systems, more commonly referred to as "Clickers", consist of a set of reponse devices and cooresponding software package that facilitates activities such as the following:

  • A faculty member presents a multiple-choice question to their students via a projector
  • Each student submits an answer to the question using a handheld transmitter or “clicker”
  • Software on the faculty members' computer collects the answers and produces a visual showing how many students chose each of the selections
  • The faculty member can respond accordingly based on the learners responses by clarifying misconeptions, reviewing material or asking students to discuss the question in small groups

The CIEL maintains a number of kits from Turning Point Technologies for faculty to borrow.  Each kit consists of 40 handheld transmitters or “clickers” and one USB response receiver.  There are also laptops with the Turning Point Software available to borrow or you can install the software on your own laptop.

Classroom Response System Resources:

  1. Ways to Use a Classroom Response System
    A list of ways to introdcue and use clickers in your classroom. Includes 5 research based methods for using clickers in your classroom.

  2. How To Reference Guide
    An introductory how-to guide to getting started with clickers here at VIU. If you like step by step instructions this guide is for you.

  3. Classroom Response System - Research and Resources

What Teachers are Saying?

“They were a super "hook" for the students and had them eagerly anticipating my next question. I also had participation from all, rather than the select few.”

“Students were much more interested in participating in the review session before their test using the clickers. It was also a lot easier to gauge student understanding, because students weren't afraid of making mistakes and were able to try and answer questions honestly.”

“The students and my TA thoroughly enjoyed using the clickers. I used the clickers to play a game based on the topics that I had taught in eight different classes. The students in all eight classes loved it and clapped for me at the end of the lesson. My TA would like to purchase a set to use in her own lessons.”

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