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iClickers: Introduction

Learn about iClickers, how they are used in the classroom, the pedagogy called peer instruction, and how clickers and peer instruction work together.

IMPORTANT: macOS 10.15 (Catalina) Update for All iClicker Mac Users

This month, Apple plans to release macOS 10.15 (Catalina). This release will affect all iClicker Classic instructors who choose to update to the new macOS. It will not affect students using the iClicker Student mobile application.

The current iClicker Classic software will work with macOS Catalina. Instructors who update to Catalina will, however, need to adjust their macOS settings before using the current iClicker software in the classroom. We recommend that you refrain from updating your macOS immediately, due to these extra steps that may disrupt your classroom experience. You can check to see if your Mac has the OS auto-update setting turned on and disable it, giving you more time to make the required privacy adjustments outside of the classroom.

We will continue our testing to ensure that our iClicker software performs as expected for instructors who update to macOS Catalina.

Learn more here at this iClicker support page.


Instructors can evaluate class comprehension or retention of complex material, and create an interactive learning experience, by polling students using a student response clicker system. This instant feedback enables instructors to tailor lectures to their students' needs by indicating whether to move forward or review material.

New users should read through the training guide in its entirety. (If the steps seem overwhelming, remember that you can contact for training.) Use the links at the bottom of each page to progress to the next topic.

If you are familiar with iClickers, you can follow the links below to review specific topics:

How Clickers Work

Student response systems use clickers or other devices to record responses, collect data, and provide feedback. The clicker software rides on top of common presentation formats such as PowerPoint, Keynote, PDFs, and Word, collecting responses when appropriate. Student responses and scores can be exported to a data file for use in Excel, Notepad, or Word, and can be imported into programs such as the Canvas learning management system.

UC San Diego faculty and Educational Technology Services (ETS) have adopted the iClicker student response system as the campus standard. It is highly recommended that faculty use iClicker so students do not have to purchase multiple products. With physical clickers, students will register their remote on the Canvas website unless otherwise directed by their instructor.

If you want to use iClickers in your class, go to the Before Class section of this website to get started.

iClicker Student Mobile App

iClicker Student is a mobile application from iClicker which, when enabled by the instructor, allows students to respond to iClicker polls using their phone, tablet or laptop instead of a physical clicker. Students can purchase a iClicker Student subscription online, or the bookstore sells physical iClickers that come with a 5-year subscription.

We ran an iClicker Student pilot in Winter 2017 to test how well it worked compared to a physical iClicker. Our results showed that overall it worked well and was reliable in class, as long as nothing went wrong with the WiFi in the room.

Because of the positive pilot results, it was decided that we would leave iClicker Student enabled on campus and give instructors the option to use it if they choose. All of the students purchasing iClickers at the bookstore are getting a physical remote along with the iClicker Student license, so there is no obligation to switch to using iClicker Student at this time if you do not wish to.

iClicker Student currently does have some issues on campus. Several instructors have found our campus WiFi to cause problems with any student response system that relies on WiFi. If either the students or the instructor lose WiFi signal then the response is not recorded. Also, for instructors who value class attendance, with iClicker Student, students are able to answer questions from anywhere since a WiFi connection does not require them to be within range of the base station like the physical iClicker remotes.

With physical clickers, students will register their remote on the Canvas website unless otherwise informed by their instructor. For iClicker Student, students register in the iClicker Student mobile application software on whatever device they are using. They will need to add their student ID and select iClicker Classic when prompted to choose which version of iClicker is used on our campus.

If you want to try iClicker Student in conjunction with iClickers, go to the Before Class section of this website for instructions. If you have any questions, please contact

Peer Instruction

Clickers are often used in conjunction with a pedagogical practice known as Peer Instruction.

To learn more about peer instruction using clickers for your courses, check out our Resources page or contact the Teaching + Learning Commons.

For information on polling for online instruction, see our Polling for Remote Instruction page.

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