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Student Response Systems (SRS)

Instructor and students in classroom
No matter how interesting your topic is, if you teach just by lecturing, you will lose the attention of  most of your students within the first twenty minutes. This is simply one manifestation of the limits of human's working memory capacity and attention span.  Student response systems such as the iClicker 2 and Poll Everywhere, combined with active learning techniques such as peer instruction, can combat this memory "fade" and are proven to increase student engagement and test results.  For those reasons, clickers have become standard equipment in many college classrooms. Many faculty here at CSUSM are now using clickers and say it is a great addition to their teaching.

Peer Instruction

Peer Instruction expert Julie Schell defines the what and how of Peer Instruction developed by Eric Mazur, renowned Physicist at Harvard.

In an articulate and amusing interview, Eric Mazur describes his transition from "sage on the stage" to developing Peer Instruction.

See the Techniques & Resources at the bottom of this page for ConcepTest question sources  and guidance on writing your own.

How to Use Clickers

  • Asking Questions, discussing with peer(s), & re-polling
  • Conducting ConcepTests (assessing understanding of concepts in practical applications)
  • Conducting anonymous opinion surveys
  • Assessing and activating students prior knowledge of a topic at the start of a lecture
  • Converting paper/pencil or Cougar Course quizzes to clicker questions. Students receive immediate feedback and misconceptions can be immediately corrected
  • Collecting demographics, including major, career goal, and math preparation
  • Creating clicker questions as a followup to students' group presentations to get feedback for presenters or review material presented.

Tools in Use at CSUSM

iClicker2   iClicker2

The Reef (iClicker2) cloud and classic systems use student-held transmitters that work with classroom receivers and the iClicker software to record student answers. You can upload the results of multiple class sessions directly into your Courgar course gradebook.

Your students must use the iClicker2, which can be purchased from the bookstore or other internet sources.  Please remember to notify the bookstore well in advance of the semester so there will be an adequate supply for your students to purchase at the start of class. Email for more information on getting started and your options.

devicesPoll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere harnesses the power of the web and gives students a legitimate reason to use their mobile phones and laptops during class. Using the Poll Everywhere app, you can ask people a multiple choice question or let the students respond freely using text replies. There are four ways to respond; sending a text message, using a smartphone's web browser, sending a "tweet" on Twitter, or on a computer via the web. Polls can be inserted into PowerPoint and responses are displayed live. Responses can be automatically graded, but at this time the grades are not atuomatically imported into your Cougar Course.

Techniques and Resources