Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors Regarding i>Clicker
This page contains answers to some frequently asked questions about the i>clicker system and i>clicker support.
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How do Iget started using i>clicker? Where can I get more information?
There are a variety of resources available for instructorsstarting to use i>clicker. There are many resources available on the i>clicker website,including user guides, quick start guides, webinars, sample instructormaterials, and software. TalkClickers is another good resource for polling questions, whitepapers, casestudies, and academic literature. There is even a discussion board to keep intouch with other users.
Software and instructions for using i>clicker with IllinoisCompass and Learn@Illinois are at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload. Consultationfor faculty interested in using i>clicker and i>clicker instructor kitsare available by contacting the Center for Innovation in Teaching &Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest or 217-333-1462.
Doesi>clicker integrate with IllinoisCompass and Learn@Illinois?
Yes, it does. This requires special pieces of software that arenot available from the i>clicker corporate website. Software andinstructions on integrating i>clicker with Illinois Compass are available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload. Thisintegration makes the process of downloading rosters, checking for studentregistrations, and uploading polling data into Illinois Compass a much easierprocess.
How do I usei>clicker with other learning management systems (LMS)?
Instructor LMS import/export user guides are available on the i>clicker website.
What if Ican't advance my presentation slides?
This is resolved by clicking once with the mouse anywhere on your slideto regain control of your presentation.
Are thereinstructor resources (sample syllabus, ordering information, etc.) available tome?
There are a variety of instructor resources at http://www.iclicker.com/support/userguides/. Plus, inthe software download we include a sample syllabus, cheating policy, forgottenclicker statement, etc. There is acampus hand out of i>clicker resources available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerresources.
What ifthe i>clicker remote number is not legible?
On most of the original i>clicker and i>clicker+ remotes,there is a second label containing the remote number just inside the batterycompartment. On i>clicker2, the remote number is displayed on the LCDscreen. The Illini Union Bookstore and TIS Bookstore also have equipment tohelp students determine their i>clicker remote number.
Whatshould I do if i>clicker not working?
If the i>clicker base or software is not working, restart thecomputer. You may also try disconnecting and reconnecting the i>clicker basefrom the computer or plugging in the base to a different USB port.
What do Ido if I get a "USB Hub Power Exceeded" message from the computer?
It is recommended that you plug the USB drive containing thei>clicker software directly into the computer you are using, not thei>clicker base station. Certain USB drives will exceed the power that thebase can supply causing the error. If you need to use the USB port on thei>clicker base station, you may request an AC adapter available through CITL.
Who do Icontact if I have questions regarding i>clicker?
If you would like to get started with i>clicker (need equipment, want a consultation, needhelp integrating i>clicker with Illinois Compass or Learn@Illinois), please contactingthe Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest or 217-333-1462.
If you have a technical question and do not find your answer here,please contact the i>clicker technical support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-209-5698.
If you have a question about sales/service/policies and do notfind your answer here, please contact i>clicker customer support at email@example.com or866-209-5698.
What are the system requirements for i>clicker to work?
PC or Mac:
One available USB port
i>clicker software (free softwarethat can run on a standard USB drive)
i>clicker base station
Students purchase their own i>clicker remotes from thebookstore
Instructor remote (optional)
How do students register their remotes?
If you are using Illinois Compass or Learn@Illinois, they do itright in the learning management system. Software and instructions on using i>clickerwith Illinois Compass and Learn@Illinois are available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload. Thisintegration makes the process of downloading rosters, checking for studentregistrations, and uploading polling data into Compass or Learn a much easierprocess.
Otherwise, i>clickercurrently offers two standard registration methods: in-class registration oronline (web-based) registration, both of which are free and are easilyincorporated into your course. Minimal information is required of your studentsand both registration options are tied to your class roster. The instructorshould select which option he/she will use and notify students accordingly.
What should I know about student data (FERPA)?
Student data is stored on the USB drive that contains thei>clicker software and is subject to FERPA laws. Therefore, it is importantto keep this information secure, private, and backed up.
Do my students need to be registered before class?
No, students do not need to be registered in order for i>clickerto collect votes. For students who are not yet registered, responses will beassociated with the respective remote IDs. In other words, you can use i>clickerto collect data/votes from the very first day of class and eventually tie allstudents to their remote IDs through either, Illinois Compass/Learn@Illinoisregistration, roll call registration, or i>clicker web site registration.
Does i>clicker work with PowerPoint or other programs?
Yes. You can use i>clicker with PowerPoint or any other programyou choose. In fact, if you have an existing presentation/lecture with multiplechoice, T/F, or yes/no questions, you need not re-author your presentation youcan simply insert your i>clicker questions right in the existing material.The unobtrusive i>clicker menu bar floats in front of your application,enabling you to poll at any point during your presentation (i.e. on a questionslide). Each time you enable polling, i>clicker takes a picture of yourscreen (i.e. your question) for your later review of questions/responses. Noadditional work is required.
Why isn't i>clicker showing up when I use it with Keynote?
In Keynote Slideshow Preferences, there is an option labeled"Allow Expose, Dashboard, and others to use the screen." If you checkthis, and then open i>clicker, the control bar should appear on thescreen.
Can I ask a question spontaneously in class without having a slidewritten?
Yes, you can! i>clicker's "On the Fly" text box is availablefrom within from the i>clicker floating menu bar so you don't have to quityour presentation to insert a spontaneous question. Your screen shot andquestion data are captured in i>graderfor later review and point assignment. Note that you don't have touse the "On the Fly" function in order to ask a spontaneous question, it issimply designed as a convenience so you don't have to exit your presentationapplication. But many instructors ask the question verbally or via thechalkboard and then begin polling without formally typing a question into anysoftware.
How do I review my questions after class?
You can review your questions later because i>clicker takes ascreen capture of whatever is on your computer screen when you complete polling(i.e. press "stop" on the i>clicker menu bar). Most often, you will have aquestion on the screen or some indicator to jog your memory of what you asked.
Can I program correct answers ahead of time if I want to?
Yes, but assigning correct answers in or after class may be easier.Creating a question list allows you to customize the settings for eachindividual clicker question ahead of class. For example, you may have apresentation that you plan to use in your class and would like to assign acorrect answer to each of the i>clicker questions in the presentation. Youcan create a question list that corresponds with your presentation so that whenyou ask the clicker questions in class the results are automatically graded anddisplayed in your results chart. In addition to assigning correct answers, youcan use question lists to set question-specific settings such as questiontitles, results chart labels, points for each answer choice, and more.
Why might students need to change frequencies?
Changing the operating frequency prevents interference with nearbyclassrooms. Interference refers to student votes crossing over from classroomto classroom. All radio frequency response systems must offer varyingfrequencies in order to keep votes contained in the intended classroom. But youonly need change the frequency if another i>clicker user is in a nearbyroom.
How do students change the remote frequency?
If you have chosen a non-standard frequency (e.g. BA) in Settingsand Preferences, i>clicker will alert your students to this change when youbegin polling. Students will be instructed to:
A. Press the On/Off (power) button on their clicker until the bluePower light begins flashing (i>clicker) or the frequency letter flash (i>clicker2)which will take about 3 seconds.
B. Press the new two-letter code (that you've designated in yourSettings/Preferences). A green Vote Status light (i>clicker) or a check mark(i>clicker2) will indicate your students have successfully reset theirremote frequency.
The entire process takes about 3 seconds. This code will remain inplace for the duration of the lecture/session. The original i>clickerretains the frequency setting as long as the remote is on. If the student turnsoff the remote, it defaults to AA when turned back on and will need to be resetto the new frequency I>clicker2 retains the new frequency even after beingturned off. Students will need to repeat this procedure for every lecture,which is why setting one code for the entire term will be easier to administerand communicate. Directions for changing a remote's frequency are on the backof every remote. You may also adjust or disable your frequency change alertpreferences via Settings/Preferences.
Is therean alternative to changing remote frequencies?
Yes, there is! If you believe that changing the frequency of youri>clicker base is too disruptive to class, there is another option you maytry to potentially forgo this need. In Settings>Results>Results Display,put a check mark in "Only display resultsfrom registered remotes" and click Save. When you show the i>clickergraph in class, only your registered students will show up, not the extraneouspolling results from the nearby classroom. This should only be done after yourstudents have registered and you have synchronized their registration datathrough i>grader, otherwise no results will show up on the graph in class.
How will students know when their votes have been received?
When a student has voted successfully (that is, a vote has beenreceived and confirmed), the "Vote Status" light on the student's remote willturn solid green (i>clicker) or show a check mark (i>clicker2). If thestudent's vote was not received, the vote status light will flash red threetimes (i>clicker) or show a do not enter sign (i>clicker2) indicatingthat the student will need to vote again. The most common reasons a studentwould see a red flashing light/do not enter symbol are:
1. Polling is not active. If the student tries to vote eitherbefore you start polling or after polling is closed, the vote status light willflash red/show the do not enter symbol.
2. The remote and receiver are not on the same frequency. If youchange your frequency from the default, students will need to change thefrequency on their remotes to match that of the receiver. If a student forgetsto change the frequency, s/he will see a red flashing vote status light/do notenter symbol when trying to vote.
Note that the green light only flashes once, while the red lightflashes three times. The difference in LED displays was designed consideringthe needs of color blind students.
Can students change their responses?
Students can change responses as long as the polling remainsactive/open. During an active polling period, i>clicker records each student's last response. Once polling fora particular question has stopped, any response changes will not be received(and the vote status light will flash red/show the do not enter symbol).
Where dostudents get i>clicker remotes?
i>clickers can be purchased at the campus bookstores.Instructors treat them like required books when dealing with the bookstore.
Can an i>clicker remote be used as a loaner?
Yes. You can use spare remotes as loaners to students who may havelost a remote or forgotten to bring one to class. The remote ID can be assignedto a student for a single session, and the same remote can be reassigned infuture sessions. Each instructor kit includes one student remote and can beused for loaning purposes. However, many professors opt not to offer loanerremotes because of class size and potential administrative problems. You willwant to consider a set of ground rules before offering students an option toborrow remotes in order to minimize your class disruption.
Is there a chance of the receiver losing votes where studentsand I think they are recorded but they actually are lost?
The i>clicker base protocol is unique and allows for a superiorsystem in terms of reliability and accuracy of vote collection. There is a virtually0% chance of dropped or lost votes withi>clicker, as compared to the typical 5-6% with competing systems. Thistranslates into a system that students trust and results in fewer headaches foryou.
How do I view and display voting results in class?
A graph of your students' results can be displayed either byclicking the "Show/Hide Results" button (looks like a graph) on the i>clicker floating menu bar, orpressing the "B" key on the designated instructor's remote. You may also seeresults without having to display the histogram through the LCD screen on yourreceiver. The LCD data is updated every second, and includes the timer on theupper left, the total vote count on the upper right, and the distribution, bypercentage, of votes across the 5 choices across the bottom.
Note that you control when and if the voting results aredisplayed; i>clicker does not automatically launch the voting results graphfor pedagogical reasons. The flexibility of the i>clicker graph, combinedwith the LCD results feature, enable you to decide when and if voting resultsare displayed.
You may also view and export session results and reports afterclass using i>grader.
What is the difference between a score of Ab and a score of 0 ini>grader?
A zero indicates that the student did respond in class but did notmeet your requirement for earning points. Ab (absent) indicates that thestudent did not provide any responses for a session. A student who missed classor did not answer any questions would receive an Ab. This value is treated aszero points for calculating averages, but is displayed differently to indicateat a glance that the student did not participate or was not in class.
How many points should I make i>clicker questions worth?
There is not a definitive answer to this question. Users andrecent academic literature indicate that clickers are most effective when theyare associated with "nominal"points, but not "too many" points. You need toassign enough credit so that students are motivated to bring their remotes toclass and to hopefully think about the question being asked. Remarkably, asmall number of points (less than 10% of the course grade) is often enough tomotivate students to participate in class using their i>clicker remotes.
Many experienced clicker users discourage colleagues fromassigning a lot of points to clicker questions, especially in large,introductory or survey courses. When clicker questions carry too much pointvalue, the clicker becomes one more tool the student fears, and they are lesslikely to give an honest answer because they fear they will lose too manypoints. It can also encourage cheating. In the end, it depends on how youstructure your course, your points, and your overall course goals.
What if the software or the computer crashes?
If your computer (or operating system) crashes, a few small files aregenerated each time a poll is conducted and the raw data files are updated. Ifa system were to crash mid-lecture, you would not lose any data that hadoccurred previous to the crash.
My class is finished for the semester and I will be teaching a newcourse. How can I start over?
The best way to start over with i>clicker is to download a newcopy of the software. This will ensure you have the latest version of oursoftware. Be sure to archive your old course folder for your records.
How do students with disabilities use i>clicker?
The intentionally simple design of i>clicker is inherentlybetter suited to students with visual impairments. Most visually impairedindividuals are able to navigate i>clickers simple six buttons using theraised battery compartment as a tactile reference point. I>clickerconsidered the needs of color blind students in creating the light patterns:the steady light of the received vote status LED versus the blinking light forvotes that have not yet been received. Braille stickers are available that maybe placed alongside the buttons. These are available through a special requestof your i>clicker representative. Vibrating clickers further allow blindstudents to receive a vibrating vote confirmation. If a student needs to purchasea vibrating remote, they should simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For moredetailed information about i>clickers 508/Accessible features, consult ourVPAT guide, available upon request from your i>clicker representative or bycontacting our sales department at email@example.com.
Is training available?
Yes, a number of ways. i>clicker is supported on campus by theCenter for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest or 217-333-1462,who offers one-on-one consultations and workshops on demand.
Additionally, i>clicker offers daily online training sessionsfor users, led by an experienced i>clicker trainer. See the Events &Resources section of our website at www.iclicker.com to signup for a training session.
Why do some of my student's remote IDs not match the IDs that Isee in the i>clicker and i>grader software?
This is done to accommodate the use of old and new i>clickerremotes. This is adjusted automatically by the software.
Can I use my instructor remote and/or receiver for more than onecourse?
The i>clicker hardware can be used for as many courses as youlike. To use the system with multiple courses, just create a new one in the Select your course: window when you open i>clicker.
How can I upgrade my i>clicker software?
Open i>clicker, then click Help>Checkfor Update in the menu bar. If an update is available, follow the prompts tocomplete the process. When you update, you will not lose your class datanor will your data be adjusted or changed. You can run Check for Update at anypoint during your course term. You may also download the latest campus softwarefrom http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload.
Can I filter questions by demographicinformation?
Yes, you can set updemographic questions related to personal information like gender, age,political affiliation, or whatever you would like as the i>clicker softwareallows for you to create your own demographic questions outside of ourprepopulated questions. You only have to run the demographic questions onetime, usually at the beginning of class, and then that demographic informationwill be stored throughout the semester and any subsequent question that you askcan be filtered by your demographic questions.
What is the instructors remote and what does it do?
The blue instructor remote looks and functions exactly like thewhite student remote until you (the instructor) designate it as your instructorremote via the i>clicker software (in Settings/Preference). Once enabled,your 5 clicker choices (A, B, C, D, E) become control commands, thus allowingyou to control polling and your presentation from anywhere in the room.It also enables you to use the remote as wireless mouse in advancing/retreatingyour presentation slides. Instructor remotes are labeled differently than astudent remote to indicate the control commands available..