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Open or free learner response software (i.e. BYOD clickers)

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on February 7, 2014

Excellent thread in the LinkedIn Higher Education Teaching and Learning discussion group:

Open or free learner response software (i.e. BYOD clickers)?

Ph.D. Student, Experienced Software Engineer & Education Enthusiast

I am currently preparing for next semester. A learner response system allows the instructor (or presenting students) to easily interact with a large audience by posing questions or problem statements, and then collecting all responses which can be shown in real-time on the projection screen. In particular, a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) system is one that only needs software (such as Learning Catalytics) and runs on any smartphone or tablet with internet access, which the students already have.

So far, I have not found a free learner response system (or “clicker”). I like the features of Learning Catalytics, but it’s difficult to convince students or the department to spend that much money (12$ per student). Also, the professor (and I also) categorically dislike any non-free solutions (many of us in Computer-Science are big fans of open-source, especially when it comes to the essentials, such as education).

Please note: This might not seem much to American education, but it is in most other countries, especially when that’s the price of a text book and even enrollment. After all, education should ideally be free (feel free to argue with me privately if you disagree).

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