Audience Response Systems

About Audience Response Systems

Audience Response Systems (ARSs), commonly called clickers, are used to quickly collect and present live feedback. Common systems include iClicker, Poll Everywhere, Plickers, and Mentimeter. Typical ARSs require two components: some way for participants to submit answers, and some way for the facilitator to collect responses. Participants typically respond to poll questions with either physical ARS-specific devices (clickers), apps, or physical items. Facilitators typically collect responses through the software or a physical device. Once questions are asked and responses are gathered, results can then be shared with the audience. iClicker Classic is supported by TLT for many undergraduate introductory classes. TLT also supports Poll Everywhere, which is currently being piloted for use by the School of Nursing, School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, School of Management, and School of Law. Other departments and groups around campus may be utilizing various systems, which are not currently supported by TLT.

Audience Response Systems (ARSs) are generally used in large, introductory courses at CWRU. They allow instructors to gather feedback and provide some interactivity with their students during class. ARSs are typically used in a handful of ways:

  1. To check-in on comprehension during lecture
  2. To promote small group discussion and debate among students
  3. To ask knowledge check questions to promote problem-solving
  4. To record student attendance

Instructors have the flexibility to decide whether or not responses are graded. Responses can be graded for accuracy and contribute toward the course grade, or can be recorded as either participation or attendance grades (where getting the right answer isn't required). 

Other departments and groups around campus may be utilizing various systems, but iClicker Classic and Poll Everywhere are currently the only TLT-supported Audience Response Systems.

To get started with iClicker, please contact the [U]Tech Service Desk with your request. iClicker Classic uses physical clickers and a base unit to gather results. Results can then be shared, brought into the iClicker gradebook, and pushed into Canvas's gradebook. Clickers can be purchased by students from the Bookstore; TLT can provide base units to instructors.

To get started with Poll Everywhere, please contact the [U]Tech Service Desk with your request. Poll Everywhere uses a browser-based webpage and an app available on mobile devices to gather results. Results can then be shared and brought into Canvas's gradebook. 

Teaching + Learning Technologies recommends the following tips for using Audience Response Systems:

  • Design your polling questions around your class. Integrate questions into slides. Make sure you schedule your class time to allow for introducing the question, allowing students to respond, and reviewing the results. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the software and setup of your ARS before using it in class. Recognizing how things should work (and knowing a few steps to take if they don't!) will help you run things smoothly.
  • A great strategy for clickers is the re-poll question. Ask an initial question, have the class discuss the results (either as a whole or in small groups), then ask the question again to see how responses have changed.