UC San Diego SearchMenu

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.

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 clickers@ucsd.edu for in-person 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 TritonEd 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.

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

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.

Expand all

REEF

REEF is a mobile app 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 REEF subscription online, or the bookstore sells physical iClickers that come with a 5-year subscription.

We ran a REEF 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 wi-fi in the room.

Because of the positive pilot results, it was decided that we would leave REEF 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 REEF license, so there is no obligation to switch to using REEF at this time if you do not wish to.

REEF 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 REEF 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.

If you want to try REEF in conjunction with iClickers, go to the Before Class section of this website for instructions. If you have any questions, please contact clickers@ucsd.edu.

Expand all

Next Topic: Before Class >