[Faccus] FW: follow-up - status of clickers (student response systems)

Andrea Chappell chappell at uwaterloo.ca
Fri Jul 29 09:41:05 EDT 2016

This may be of interest to some of you. Your instructors will receive email explaining this new option for student response in the classroom (a variant of the i>Clicker, which works on laptops and smart devices). If you have questions, please feel free to contact Jan Willwerth (copied), who led the project.

From: Andrea Chappell
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2016 9:01 AM
To: 'ucist at lists.uwaterloo.ca' <ucist at lists.uwaterloo.ca>
Cc: Andrea Chappell <andrea.chappell at uwaterloo.ca>; Jan Willwerth <jan at uwaterloo.ca>
Subject: RE: follow-up - status of clickers (student response systems)

I promised an update on the project to select a student response system (SRS). The project team, led by Jan Willwerth of IST-ITMS, has reached their conclusion. They recommend that Waterloo adopt an i>Clicker/REEF Hybrid solution for the 2016/2017 academic year and that the committee reconvene prior to the Fall 2017 term to review  any developments in SRS technology and determine the practicality of a possible site license for REEF. The final report is going through last edits, and will be ready soon. Please let Jan know if you would like to receive it for further reading.

i>Clicker is the specialized physical clicker device officially supported for in-class, real-time polling (e.g., question with multiple choice answers, student uses clicker to register their answer). REEF is another product by i>Clicker. It (and competing systems) provide a solution to run on laptops and smart devices. An advantage of an i>Clicker/REEF solution over others is that students who already own an i>Clicker can continue to use it. New students can purchase the physical device, or just REEF, or buy both, with 5 years of use of REEF. Shawn Gilbertson of the Bookstore was persistent in negotiating a fair price. The i>Clicker physical device has been selling for $40, and the i>Clicker + 5 year REEF bundle will be $50. Purchasing only REEF is cheaper (though they need to be sure that their instructor accepts use of smart devices in class!), with prices for various access windows (e.g., 1 year $14, 4 years $28).

Communications are being coordinated between IST-ITMS and the Bookstore, which manages the i>Clicker and REEF sales. An email will go out to all instructors so they are aware of the new option.

Finally, the project group looked at the Surveyor tool that Engineering has developed. It doesn't currently meet the requirements developed during the project, in consultation with two faculty focus groups, so is not a contender for the campus-wide SRS solution being sought.  However, it could be considered as a "no cost" alternative for those whose requirements are different, and can be reviewed again at the time of the recommended review of the REEF status, before the fall of 2017.

If you have questions or would like a copy of the report once it is ready, feel free to contact Jan Willwerth. (I am away starting Aug. 2nd, back on the 22nd.)

From: ucist-bounces at lists.uwaterloo.ca<mailto:ucist-bounces at lists.uwaterloo.ca> [mailto:ucist-bounces at lists.uwaterloo.ca] On Behalf Of Andrea Chappell
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 3:32 PM
To: 'ucist at lists.uwaterloo.ca' <ucist at lists.uwaterloo.ca<mailto:ucist at lists.uwaterloo.ca>>
Subject: [UCIST] follow-up - status of clickers (student response systems)

Hi all,
This is a follow-up from last Friday's meeting about the LE Retreat and related topics. Mike asked about clickers, so here's an update.

The campus-wide supported clicker is i>Clicker, of which there are three types:
The original i>clicker and i>clicker+ are basically the same, both have A-E buttons and can be used for multiple choice polling. I>clicker 2 has A-E buttons for multiple choice, and additional buttons to accommodate numeric and alphanumeric responses, as well as an LCD screen. I>clicker 2 has had few sales compared to the more basic version.

The attached spreadsheet shows enrollment and sales since 2006. The greatest number of enrollments (total number of uses of clickers across all courses) is about 9600 in a term. For a number of years, there have been almost 4000 clickers sold in the fall term, roughly 1000+/- in winter, and fewer in summer, demonstrating that they still are a popular teaching aid. The Bookstore sells i>clickers for $40. Students can use it for their entire time at UW, and can resell it. The Bookstore lists clickers in the course book list when they know that a clicker is required. IST supports the instructor technical use and maintains the "receiver" in the podium computers in classrooms. CTE supports instructors who want advice on incorporating clickers into their course activities, so it is a collaborative effort.

Paul Kates of CTE maintains a list of courses that use it based on info from the Bookstore, though not every course instructor communicates to the Bookstore about their use. The greatest number of courses using clickers in one term (according to this page) is 50.

Finally, a project has been investigating a solution for student response by any device with a browser (laptop, tablet, and smartphone) or as an iOS or Android app (not Blackberry). The project team invited a cross-section of current clicker users to provide input and feedback along the way. They looked at a number of solutions, including REEF from i>clicker and TopHat (local company), and is almost ready to complete its report. They are waiting for the per student cost for REEF from i>clicker before submitting a recommendation (which they anticipate will be REEF), again looking at a cost for the entire time the student is here.

Mike noted that Engineering has developed a polling app. I asked Erick Engelke for information to provide to the student response project lead (Jan Willwerth). It could perhaps provide a free version as an option, if its features work for an instructor's uses.

Please feel free to ask any questions or for more information. Once the project is completed, I can alert you to the recommendation, and sent the report.
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