I’m in ‘Kahoots’ with Technology in the Classroom
By: Cassandra OSullivan Sachar, EdD July 31st, 2017
Teaching tool or distraction? The key to any engaging lesson in the classroom, of course, is to connect it to the learning objectives, and Kahoot! makes it easy to do so.
https://www.sli.do/. A basic account is free. this package does not allow question moderation and restricts the number of polls you can ask per class
The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy
July 30, 2017
in my role as director of my college’s teaching center, I hosted a faculty discussion of Jay R. Howard’s excellent book Discussion in the College Classroom, which recommends that we build structural methods of participation into our courses, rather than just relying on the vocal students to carry the conversation.
The first three columns in “The Distracted Classroom” series have explored the fundamental problem of digital distraction in our lives today, the way recent technologies have exacerbated that problem, and the possible solutions. All of those columns drew on the research presented by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen in their excellent book, The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World.
Autonomy. The literature on helping students take a deep approach toward their learning — as opposed to a more surface or strategic orientation — suggests they learn best when they feel a sense of autonomy in class. Another approach to the problem of digital distraction, then, would be to invite students into the process of setting the policies that will operate in the classroom.
Cathy Davidson has argued very effectively for what she calls a “class constitution” — an agreement that the class has reached together about certain aspects of how the course will operate.
More on Classroom Respire Systems in this IMS blog
Short link the information below on the IMS blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?p=4441 and even shorter one: http://scsu.mn/1RsQErr
Session I 10-11:15 Voyageurs North (Atwood)
Engage your students: connect CMS (D2L) to social media to enhance the learning process.
Plamen Miltenoff and Emil Towner
Join us online via Adobe Connect: http://scsuconnect.stcloudstate.edu/ims (please login as a “guest” and use your real name)
In this rapid succession of examples, one can experience a showcase how to enhance students’ engagement by modernizing D2L experience through connection with social media. Bring your own examples and participate in a discussion, which aims finding the right tools for your class and field of study.
beginners to advanced
come with your own social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine
By the end of this session, the participants will have an idea about peculiarity of each of the social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine
By the end of the session, the participants will be familiar with the integration of each of the social media tool into D2L
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to asses to what extent each particular tool fits their field of study
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to compare the pedagogical advantages and disadvantages of the social media tools compared to D2L
Useful links to contact us via social media:
IMS blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims
IMS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InforMediaServices?ref=hl
IMS Twitter: https://twitter.com/SCSUtechinstruc
IMS Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/scsutechnology/
IMS Instagram: http://instagram.com/scsutechinstruct
IMS YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_UMIE5r6YB8KzTF5nZJFyA
IMS Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115966710162153290760/posts/p/pub
IMS LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/scsuinstructionaltechnology
Plan – Plamen Miltenoff:
Please consider the following survey about your opinion regarding social media in education:
please have the short link: http://scsu.mn/1Z8EFFx
most recent contemplations about blogs and social media in general:
- D2L and Facebook
What is the problem with D2L? http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/09/lms-as-a-concept-under-scrutiny/
Facebook in a learning environment MUST BE conducted using a Facebook group.
Unless the instructor is SPECIFICALLY using h/er FB account strictly for educational reasons and there is no personal content, the instructor can create a class-related group, with their personal FB account. While the account is personal, the FB group has NO access to the personal FB account.
Facebook Page is different from Facebook Group. The first is commercially oriented and thus, not recommended and to a great degree not suitable for educational purposes.
Facebook Provides New Admin Tools for Managing Page Communication
Facebook Improves News Feed for Slower Network Connections:
Facebook group account can be used for: discussions, sharing materials / visuals, calendar
D2L Discussions compared to Facebook Group discussions – http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/facebook-groups-pages/313736
D2L content compared to Facebook Group Wall
D2L calendar compared to FB calendar
D2L news RSS compared to FB Group alert.
- D2L and Twitter
microblogging of 140 characters is often viewed as limiting. However, it can be the ultimate test how well students understand the learning material: making someone sum up in 140 characters what they learned this particular week in their class can take a lot of rewriting.
D2L allows a widget on its main page, where students can view and tweet. Students also can view and tweet from their mobile devices.
Tweeting during class is becoming mainstream in K12, also called “backchanneling.” Harnessing peers help to understand a concept discussed in class can save both time and efforts on the instructors’ side
Twitter is “making your twitter.com timeline more immersive by uncropping photos, so you can experience and present them as they were meant to be viewed.” http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/12/13/improvements-in-social-media-tools/
- D2L and Instagram
Instagram is a social media service, which allows both still images and videos (15 sec).
The bottom-line to evaluate if fitting your field of study is: can the content be narrated or is it much better if visualized. If the latter, Instagram can be your salvation for quick and dirty way to bring imagery, instead of trying to explain by words.
Instagram can be shared vertically across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other platforms.
Instagram in the classroom
Master Instagram in 8 Simple Steps http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/09/11/how-to-master-instagram-in-8-simple-steps/
- D2L and Pinterest
QR codes are used by Lorie Crane from Nursing as a gamification techniques for students to learn human bones. The disadvantage of the QR codes is that they physically are placed in the classroom. Pinterest can provide the same gamification environment, but the students can access it anywhere/anytime with their mobile devices. The links to the pin[s] can be provided in the D2L : content area (as learning materials/readings), discussion area, News area. They can be also used as part of the D2L quizzes
Instagram defines and shapes brands while Pinterest sells brands.
Pinterest is about curating and discovering information.
Using hashtags: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/07/13/3-things-you-didnt-know-you-can-do-on-pinterest/
16 Ways Teachers Use Pinterest http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/02/10/16-ways-teachers-use-pinterest/
Free Pinterest-Style Education Service Hosts Common Core Teaching Aids http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/11/20/free-pinterest-style-education-service-hosts-common-core-teaching-aids/
Teachers on Pinterest – A Great Resource for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/11/02/teachers-on-pinterest-a-great-resource-for-teachers-educational-technology-and-mobile-learning/
- D2L and Vine
Vine is a social media services, which provides the ability to share 7 sec videos. Vine is becoming more popular then Instagram (15 sec videos), with the simplicity to create short videos. Students can take sequence of short videos, which amount to 7 sec to reflect the main points of a project. E.g.: chemical reaction, biology dissection, progress of engineering planning, solving a math formula.
URL to the vine can be posted in the D2L discussion area for further collaborative effort or for peers’ and instructions evaluation
Vines are a click away from a FB group page or, with the right handle and hashtag, to a Twitter discussion
The bottom-line to evaluate if fitting your field of study is: can the content be narrated or is it much better if visualized. If the latter, Vine can be your salvation.
How to Create Social Videos With Your Smartphone http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/01/10/social-videos-with-your-smartphone/
- D2L and YouTube, EdPuzzle (https://edpuzzle.com/), etc
YouTube Unveils New Trending Tab
Per SCSU IT disclaimer: MediaSpace (Kaltura) is a free, cloud-based video repository solution for campus that allows faculty and staff to upload and distribute video and audio content for academic or administrative purposes. Facilitators will discuss potential uses of MediaSpace for campus, demonst rate how to create Webcam and screen recordings, upload audio/video, and embed or link to MediaSpace content from D2L or a web site. YouTube is owned by Google and the integration, including statistics and analytics by Google are way beyond MediaSpace. The only selling point of MediaSpace is the FERPA requirement by MnSCU to host privacy data on a MnSCU owned server
Google+ is indirect competition with any CMS, D2L included, with its GOogle Classroom platform (https://classroom.google.com/ineligible). K12 and higher institutions are outsourcing to GMAIL and with Google Hangouts (Skype also), one can share video, audio and desktops, which makes Adobe Connect + D2L way behind in integration even before Google Drive is mentioned.
Google Introduces Shared Albums in Google Photos:
8 Ways to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/09/23/google-hangouts/You can record hangouts directly to your YouTube channel for future use.For private Google+ Hangouts, choose Google+ Video Hangouts, which allow you to have up to 10 participants in a video chat that is accessible only to the people invited.
Plan – Emil Towner:
- General stats on integrating social media and things to consider
- Integrating LinkedIn Assignments
- Integrating Facebook Groups
- I will show a couple of groups that I have used
- I can also come up with an “exercise” that participants can do, just let me know: (1) if you want me to and (2) if participants are suppose to have a Facebook account that they can log into during the session
Session K 2-3:15: 2PM Wed, Jan 8. Location: CH455
Engage your students: gaming and gamification in the learning process.
As part of the broader discussion, a short discussion segment to form and agree on definitions and terms regarding games and gamification. Another short segment to seek consensus if this SCSU campus is ready to departure on the path of gamifying education. After several examples, of how games are used in education and gamification techniques, a discussion on how gaming and gamification can be streamlined amidst shrinking budget and increasing workload. More details and information about gaming and gamification at: http://scsu.mn/1F008Re
beginners to advanced
By the end of this session, the participants will have a working definitions on play, games, serious games, game-based learning, digital game-based learning, gaming, gamification and badges. (more at http://scsu.mn/1F008Re)
By the end of the session, the participants will be familiar with the possibilities for integration of games in the educational process and for gamification of the educational process.
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to asses to what extent games and gamification fit their field of study
Session M 10-11:15: CH 455
Present and be presented: engage your students with modern ways to share information
Two trends plague education: the swamp of PowerPoint presentations and the lack of visual literacy. In this rapid succession of examples, one can experience a showcase of various cloud-based tools, which brings visual presentations way beyond PowerPoint and align with the Millennials demand for current social interaction. A discussion on how relevant these tools are to various disciplines and details on improving the interaction among instructors and students during the presentation. Ongoing discussion about design as part of visual literacy and the difference between blended learning and technology integration.
beginners to advanced
By the end of this session, the participants will have understand the movement “Death by PowerPoint” and will understand the advantage of cloud-based presentation tools to MS PowerPoint
By the end of the session, the participants will be familiar with several tools, which successfully replace PowerPoint and well beyond.
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to asses to what extent games and gamification fit their field of study
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to discriminate between technology integration and blended learning.
Thursday, April 11, 11AM-1PM, Miller Center B-37
We invite the campus community to a presentation by three vendors of Classroom Response System (CRS), AKA “clickers”:
11:00-11:30AM Poll Everywhere, Mr. Alec Nuñez
11:30-12:00PM iClikers, Mr. Jeff Howard
12:00-12:30PM Top Hat Monocle Mr. Steve Popovich
12:30-1PM Turning Technologies Mr. Jordan Ferns
links to documentation from the vendors:
Top Hat Monocle docs:
|Questions to vendor: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1. Is your system proprietary as far as the handheld device and the operating system software?
The site and the service are the property of Poll Everywhere. We do not provide handheld devices. Participants use their own device be it a smart phone, cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc.
- 2. Describe the scalability of your system, from small classes (20-30) to large auditorium classes. (500+).
Poll Everywhere is used daily by thousands of users. Audience sizes upwards of 500+ are not uncommon. We’ve been used for events with 30,000 simultaneous participants in the past.
- 3. Is your system receiver/transmitter based, wi-fi based, or other?
- 4. What is the usual process for students to register a “CRS”(or other device) for a course? List all of the possible ways a student could register their device. Could a campus offer this service rather than through your system? If so, how?
Student participants may register by filling out a form. Or, student information can be uploaded via a CSV.
- 5. Once a “CRS” is purchased can it be used for as long as the student is enrolled in classes? Could “CRS” purchases be made available through the campus bookstore? Once a student purchases a “clicker” are they able to transfer ownership when finished with it?
N/A. Poll Everywhere sells service licenses the length and number of students supported would be outlined in a services agreement.
- 6. Will your operating software integrate with other standard database formats? If so, list which ones.
Need more information to answer.
- 7. Describe the support levels you provide. If you offer maintenance agreements, describe what is covered.
8am to 8pm EST native English speaking phone support and email support.
- 8. What is your company’s history in providing this type of technology? Provide a list of higher education clients.
Company pioneered and invented the use of this technology for audience and classroom response. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_Everywhere. University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Raleigh, North Carolina
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
King’s College London
London, United Kingdom
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
University of Illinois
- 9. What measures does your company take to insure student data privacy? Is your system in compliance with FERPA and the Minnesota Data Practices Act? (https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=13&view=chapter)
- 10. What personal data does your company collect on students and for what purpose? Is it shared or sold to others? How is it protected?
Name. Phone Number. Email. For the purposes of voting and identification (Graded quizzes, attendance, polls, etc.). It is never shared or sold to others.
- 11. Do any of your business partners collect personal information about students that use your technology?
- 12. With what formats can test/quiz questions be imported/exported?
Import via text. Export via CSV.
- 13. List compatible operating systems (e.g., Windows, Macintosh, Palm, Android)?
Works via standard web technology including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Participant web voting fully supported on Android and IOS devices. Text message participation supported via both shortcode and longcode formats.
- 14. What are the total costs to students including device costs and periodic or one-time operation costs
Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.
- 15. Describe your costs to the institution.
Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.
- 16. Describe how your software integrates with PowerPoint or other presentation systems.
Downloadable slides from the website for Windows PowerPoint and downloadable app for PowerPoint and Keynote integration on a Mac.
|17. State your level of integration with Desire2Learn (D2L)?Does the integration require a server or other additional equipment the campus must purchase?Export results from site via CSV for import into D2L.
- 17. How does your company address disability accommodation for your product?
We follow the latest web standards best practices to make our website widely accessible by all. To make sure we live up to this, we test our website in a text-based browser called Lynx that makes sure we’re structuring our content correctly for screen readers and other assisted technologies.
- 18. Does your software limit the number of answers per question in tests or quizzes? If so, what is the max question limit?
- 19. Does your software provide for integrating multimedia files? If so, list the file format types supported.
Supports image formats (.PNG, .GIF, .JPG).
- 20. What has been your historic schedule for software releases and what pricing mechanism do you make available to your clients for upgrading?
We ship new code daily. New features are released several times a year depending on when we finish them. New features are released to the website for use by all subscribers.
- 21. Describe your “CRS”(s).
Poll Everywhere is a web based classroom response system that allows students to participate from their existing devices. No expensive hardware “clickers” are required. More information can be found at http://www.polleverywhere.com/classroom-response-system.
- 22. If applicable, what is the average life span of a battery in your device and what battery type does it take?
N/A. Battery manufacturers hate us. Thirty percent of their annual profits can be contributed to their use in clickers (we made that up).
- 23. Does your system automatically save upon shutdown?
Our is a “cloud based” system. User data is stored there even when your computer is not on.
- 24. What is your company’s projection/vision for this technology in the near and far term.
We want to take clicker companies out of business. We think it’s ridiculous to charge students and institutions a premium for outdated technology when existing devices and standard web technology can be used instead for less than a tenth of the price.
- 25. Does any of your software/apps require administrator permission to install?
- 26. If your system is radio frequency based, what frequency spectrum does it operate in? If the system operate in the 2.4-2.5 ghz. spectrum, have you tested to insure that smart phones, wireless tablet’s and laptops and 2.4 ghz. wireless phones do not affect your system? If so, what are the results of those tests?
- 27. What impact to the wireless network does the solution have?
Depends on a variety of factors. Most university wireless networks are capable of supporting Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere can also make use of cell phone carrier infrastructure through SMS and data networks on the students phones.
- 28. Can the audience response system be used spontaneously for polling?
- 29. Can quiz questions and response distributions be imported and exported from and to plaintext or a portable format? (motivated by assessment & accreditation requirements).
- 30. Is there a requirement that a portion of the course grade be based on the audience response system?
Fall 2011 Student Response System Pilot
NDSU has been standardized on a single student response (i.e., “clicker”) system for over a decade, with the intent to provide a reliable system for students and faculty that can be effectively and efficiently supported by ITS. In April 2011, Instructional Services made the decision to explore other response options and to identify a suitable replacement product for the previously used e-Instruction Personal Response System (PRS). At the time, PRS was laden with technical problems that rendered the system ineffective and unsupportable. That system also had a steep learning curve, was difficult to navigate, and was unnecessarily time-consuming to use. In fact, many universities across the U.S. experienced similar problems with PRS and have since then adopted alternative systems.
A pilot to explore alternative response systems was initiated at NDSU in fall 2011. The pilot was aimed at further investigating two systems—Turning Technologies and iClicker—in realistic classroom environments. As part of this pilot program, each company agreed to supply required hardware and software at no cost to faculty or students. Each vendor also visited campus to demonstrate their product to faculty, students and staff.
An open invitation to participate in the pilot was extended to all NDSU faculty on a first come, first serve basis. Of those who indicated interest, 12 were included as participants in this pilot.
Pilot Faculty Participants:
- Angela Hodgson (Biological Sciences)
- Ed Deckard (AES Plant Science)
- Mary Wright (Nursing)
- Larry Peterson (History, Philosophy & Religious Studies)
- Ronald Degges (Statistics)
- Julia Bowsher (Biological Sciences)
- Sanku Mallik (Pharmaceutical Sciences)
- Adnan Akyuz (AES School of Natural Resource Sciences)
- Lonnie Hass (Mathematics)
- Nancy Lilleberg (ITS/Communications)
- Lisa Montplaisir (Biological Sciences)
- Lioudmila Kryjevskaia (Physics)
The pilot included three components: 1) Vendor demonstrations, 2) in-class testing of the two systems, and 3) side-by-side faculty demonstrations of the two systems.
After exploring several systems, Instructional Services narrowed down to two viable options—Turning Technologies and iClicker. Both of these systems met initial criteria that was assembled based on faculty input and previous usage of the existing response system. These criteria included durability, reliability, ease of use, radio frequency transmission, integration with Blackboard LMS, cross-platform compatibility (Mac, PC), stand-alone software (i.e., no longer tied to PowerPoint or other programs), multiple answer formats (including multiple choice, true/false, numeric), potential to migrate to mobile/Web solutions at some point in the future, and cost to students and the university.
In the first stage of the pilot, both vendors were invited to campus to demonstrate their respective technologies. These presentations took place during spring semester 2011 and were attended by faculty, staff and students. The purpose of these presentations was to introduce both systems and provide faculty, staff, and students with an opportunity to take a more hands-on look at the systems and provide their initial feedback.
In the second stage of the pilot, faculty were invited to test the technologies in their classes during fall semester 2011. Both vendors supplied required hardware and software at no cost to faculty and students, and both provided online training to orient faculty to their respective system. Additionally, Instructional Services staff provided follow-up support and training throughout the pilot program. Both vendors were requested to ensure system integration with Blackboard. Both vendors indicated that they would provide the number of clickers necessary to test the systems equally across campus. Both clickers were allocated to courses of varying sizes, ranging from 9 to 400+ students, to test viability in various facilities with differing numbers of users. Participating faculty agreed to offer personal feedback and collect feedback from students regarding experiences with the systems at the end of the pilot.
In the final stage of the pilot, Instructional Services facilitated a side-by-side demonstration led by two faculty members. Each faculty member showcased each product on a function-by-function basis so that attendees were able to easily compare and contrast the two systems. Feedback was collected from attendees.
Results of Pilot
In stage one, we established that both systems were viable and appeared to offer similar features, functions, and were compatible with existing IT systems at NDSU. The determination was made to include both products in a larger classroom trial.
In stage two, we discovered that both systems largely functioned as intended; however, several differences between the technologies in terms of advantages and disadvantages were discovered that influenced our final recommendation. (See Appendix A for a list of these advantages, disadvantages, and potential workarounds.) We also encountered two significant issues that altered the course of the pilot. Initially, it was intended that both systems would be tested in equal number in terms of courses and students. Unfortunately, at the time of the pilot, iClicker was not able to provide more than 675 clickers, which was far fewer than anticipated. Turning Technologies was able to provide 1,395 clickers. As a result, Turning Technologies was used by a larger number of faculty and students across campus.
At the beginning of the pilot, Blackboard integration with iClicker at NDSU was not functional. The iClicker vendor provided troubleshooting assistance immediately, but the problem was not resolved until mid-November. As a result, iClicker users had to use alternative solutions for registering clickers and uploading points to Blackboard for student viewing. Turning Technologies was functional and fully integrated with Blackboard throughout the pilot.
During the span of the pilot additional minor issues were discovered with both systems. A faulty iClicker receiver slightly delayed the effective start date of clicker use in one course. The vendor responded by sending a new receiver, however it was an incorrect model. Instructional Services temporarily exchanged receivers with another member of the pilot group until a functional replacement arrived. Similarly, a Turning Technologies receiver was received with outdated firmware. Turning Technologies support staff identified the problem and assisted in updating the firmware with an update tool located on their website. A faculty participant discovered a software flaw in the iClicker software that hides the software toolbar when disconnecting a laptop from a second monitor. iClicker technical support assisted in identifying the problem and stated the problem would be addressed in a future software update. A workaround was identified that mitigated this problem for the remainder of the pilot. It is important to note that these issues were not widespread and did not widely affect all pilot users, however these issues attest to the need for timely, reliable, and effective vendor support.
Students and faculty reported positive experiences with both technologies throughout the semester. Based on feedback, users of both systems found the new technologies to be much improved over the previous PRS system, indicating that adopting either technology would be perceived as an upgrade among students and faculty. Faculty pilot testers met several times during the semester to discuss their experiences with each system; feedback was sent to each vendor for their comments, suggestions, and solutions.
During the stage three demonstrations, feedback from attendees focused on the inability for iClicker to integrate with Blackboard at that time and the substantial differences between the two systems in terms of entering numeric values (i.e., Turning Technologies has numeric buttons, while iClicker requires the use of a directional key pad to scroll through numeric characters). Feedback indicated that attendees perceived Turning Technologies’ clickers to be much more efficient for submitting numeric responses. Feedback regarding other functionalities indicated relative equality between both systems.
Based on the findings of this pilot, Instructional Services recommends that NDSU IT adopt Turning Technologies as the replacement for the existing PRS system. While both pilot-tested systems are viable solutions, Turning Technologies appears to meet the needs of a larger user base. Additionally, the support offered by Turning Technologies was more timely and effective throughout the pilot. With the limited resources of IT, vendor support is critical and was a major reason for exploring alternative student response technologies.
From Instructional Services’ standpoint, standardizing to one solution is imperative for two major reasons: cost efficiency for students (i.e., preventing students from having to purchase duplicate technologies) and efficient utilization of IT resources (i.e., support and training). It is important to note that this recommendation is based on the opinion of the Instructional Services staff and the majority of pilot testers, but is not based on consensus among all participating faculty and staff. It is possible that individual faculty members may elect to use other options that best meet their individual teaching needs, including (but not limited to) iClicker. As an IT organization, we continue to support technology that serves faculty, student and staff needs across various colleges, disciplines, and courses. We feel that this pilot was effective in determining the student response technology—Turning Technologies—that will best serve NDSU faculty, students and staff for the foreseeable future.
Once a final decision concerning standardization is made, contract negotiations should begin in earnest with the goal of completion by January 1, 2012, in order to accommodate those wishing to use clickers during the spring session.
Appendix A: Clicker Comparisons
Turning Technologies and iClicker
Areas where both products have comparable functionality:
- Setting up the receiver and software
- Student registration of clickers
- Software interface floats above other software
- Can use with anything – PowerPoint, Websites, Word, etc.
- Asking questions on the fly
- Can create questions / answers files
- Managing scores and data
- Allow participation points, points for correct answer, change correct answer
- Reporting – Summary and Detailed
- Uploading scores and data to Blackboard (but there was a big delay with the iClicker product)
- Durability of the receivers and clickers
- Free software
- Offer mobile web device product to go “clickerless”
Areas where the products differ:
Main Shortcomings of Turning Technology Product:
- Costs $5 more – no workaround
- Doesn’t have instructor readout window on receiver base –
- This is a handy function in iClicker that lets the instructor see the %’s of votes as they come in, allowing the instructor to plan how he/she will proceed.
- Workaround: As the time winds down to answer the question, the question and answers are displayed on the screen. Intermittently, the instructor would push a button to mute the projector, push a button to view graph results quickly, then push a button to hide graph and push a button to unmute the projector. In summary, push four buttons quickly each time you want to see the feedback, and the students will see a black screen momentarily.
- Processing multiple sessions when uploading grading –
- Turning Technologies uses their own file structure types, but iClicker uses comma-separated-value text files which work easily with Excel
- Workaround: When uploading grades into Blackboard, upload them one session at a time, and use a calculated total column in Bb to combine them. Ideally, instructors would upload the grades daily or weekly to avoid backlog of sessions.
Main Shortcomings of iClicker Product:
- Entering numeric answers –
- Questions that use numeric answers are widely used in Math and the sciences. Instead of choosing a multiple-choice answer, students solve the problem and enter the actual numeric answer, which can include numbers and symbols.
- Workaround: Students push mode button and use directional pad to scroll up and down through a list of numbers, letters and symbols to choose each character individually from left to right. Then they must submit the answer.
- Number of multiple choice answers –
- iClicker has 5 buttons on the transmitter for direct answer choices and Turning Technologies has 10.
- Workaround: Similar to numeric answer workaround. Once again the simpler transmitter becomes complex for the students.
- Potential Vendor Support Problems –
- It took iClicker over 3 months to get their grade upload interface working with NDSU’s Blackboard system. The Turning Technology interface worked right away. No workaround.