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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Support & Services

Enhance face to face teaching with Classroom Clickers

Examples of this Service:

Classroom Clickers offer the potential to raise levels of interactivity and participation in lectures and seminars by participants responding to posed questions via wireless voting handsets

  • Break up teaching mode and aid digestion of information through subject area testing that students often see as a fun activity
  • Quick and anonymous polling to explore participant views or predictions can be capitalised upon to prompt discussion
  • Testing of student ability can illuminate areas of difficulty or ease, therefore enabling a more personalised and streamlined learning experience
  • Gain an insight into student prior knowledge of subject areas, or gain feedback on content and delivery methods
  • Results of polls can be shown to the group via realtime graphs, or exportable as Excel spreadsheet for later analysis
  • Multiple choice are the main format of question, but it is possible to have students submit text entries, or use rich media such as pictures or videos alongside questions
  • Voting can be anonymous or tracked with handsets linked to specific students, useful such as within assessment
  • A versatile system offering limitless scope, from simple and quick to produce quiz type questions, slicing results by demographics, to using the hardware to direct the session through conditional branching
  • The software used is called TurningPoint. As an add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint it offers ease of use and smooth integration with presentations. It’s free to install and most teaching room computers already have the software

CEEBL (the Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning) on the 26th of March played host to a 'Teaching and Clickers' seminar. Look at the foot of this page for some great examples of why you might use clickers.

After learning the basics of the software you need to generate the interactive slides within PowerPoint. These can be put into existing (non-interactive) PowerPoints or you can generate new ones.

On the day of your presentation you will need to pick up the equipment and copy across your PowerPoint file to the lecture room computer. The Clicker equipment packs include a USB receiver that you will need to plug into the computer, you then need to hand out the handsets to the students. The presentation runs through PowerPoint so you launch and progress through a presentation in the normal way. At the interactive slides students will be prompted to vote on a question, once everyone has voted you move to the next slide to close polling and see a graph of results with an optional animation of a tick mark to identify to participants the correct answer (if there is one).

It is usual to give the students a warm-up question at the beginning of the session to get them and yourself used to using the hardware. At the end of the session you can take any data away with you on a thumb drive.

The software is very quick to get up and running, starting with a half-hour demonstration by a member of the eLearning team. And then, in your own time, the generation of interactive slides might take just a few minutes each to setup on the computer, however you might enjoy taking time over devising the questions to deliver against learning outcomes. You can drop interactive slides into existing (non-interactive) PowerPoint presentation or create new ones from scratch.

The best way to get started is to email elearning@manchester.ac.uk to arrange a one-to-one (or one-to-many) Clickers consultation with a member of the Humanities eLearning team. This session will take between 30mins to an hour and will be an opportunity to show you how to use the system, exploring any ideas you might have, and providing tips on best practice. We can offer guidance on managing the hardware on the day for small or large groups (we can attend to help you on your first few sessions), and we can advise you on getting the software installed on your own computer.