What should an instructor know to get started using iClicker in their course?
iClicker at U-M
iClicker is the classroom student response solution supported by CAEN (Engineering), LSA, Public Policy, Kinesiology, Music, Information, Public Health, and the Library. Many Engineering students already have iClicker remotes for other classes, and instructors using iClicker have indicated that it is very robust and easy to use.
The iClicker software consists of two stand-alone applications that run on all recent versions of Windows and Mac OS. They do not require installation, administrative privileges, nor any other software packages (such as Powerpoint) to run. Instructors in Engineering and LSA have found the software to be extremely reliable, and polling sessions may be easily resumed if interrupted for any reason. The LSA Instructional Support Services (ISS) group provides an online iClicker Resources page that covers the U-M specific details, such as syncing a course roster with Canvas. Note that some details in that document may be specific to LSA.
If you are interested in a demonstration of the iClicker system, please contact CAEN and we will be happy to make the arrangements.
Obtaining an iClicker Instructor Remote
iClicker instructor remote devices are available through the U-M Computer Showcase.
Getting the Software
During class, you will need access to a computer running Windows or Mac OS with an available USB port for the iClicker receiver. The instructor software for iClicker should be downloaded ahead of time, prior to the class. Refer to the LSA iClicker Software & Hardware page for version and download information.
The instructor software does not require installation, and it can be copied and run from a USB drive or the hard drive of the presenter's computer. Network access is not required during class, and questions do not need to be prepared in advance (although it often helps). The polling data is stored in a folder with the instructor software, either on the USB drive or the hard drive of the presenter's computer.
Note: Use the LSA ISS link provided above to download the U-M specific version of the software. Do NOT download the software from the iClicker website directly.
Upgrading the Software
If it becomes necessary to download a new version of the iClicker software, you will need to move the data from your existing iClicker folder to the new one, so that it can be seen by the updated version. All the polling and roster data is stored in the same folder as the iClicker application.
If a student has difficulty getting their iClicker to work, have them first replace all three of the batteries. Energizer AAA batteries are recommended by iClicker.
If the student's iClicker still does not operate, they may need to exchange it for a replacement. If so, they will also need to update their device registration information. After the student has done this, the iClicker software will only pick up the new information after the Import Student Roster from CMS function is used. While it should be safe to perform this import anytime, we recommend first making a backup copy of the iClicker software directory. Note that you must quit iClicker and run it again after importing rosters for any changes to show up. LSA provides instructions in their iClicker Frequently Asked Questions.
CAEN is focusing its clicker support efforts on instructional use, but we will try accommodate other uses of benefit to the College of Engineering when needed, such as special events, seminars, and meetings. Please contact CAEN for more information.
Successful Clicker Use
Going beyond the technical details of using clickers, much research has gone into using them effectively in the classroom. The following links provide some advice and suggestions that may be helpful: