MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
How do I get started using i>clicker? Where can I get more information?
There are a variety of resources available for instructors starting to use i>clicker. There are many resources available on the i>clicker website, including user guides, quick start guides, webinars, sample instructor materials, and software.
Software and instructions for using i>clicker with Illinois Compass and Learn@Illinois are at http://go.illinois.edu/iclicker. Consultation for faculty interested in using i>clicker and i>clicker instructor kits are available by contacting the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest.
Does i>clicker integrate with Illinois Compass and Learn@Illinois?
Yes, it does. This requires special pieces of software that are not available from the i>clicker corporate website. Software and instructions on integrating i>clicker with Illinois Compass are available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclicker. This integration makes the process of downloading rosters, checking for student registrations, and uploading polling data into Illinois Compass a much easier process.
How do I use i>clicker with other learning management systems (LMS)?
Instructor LMS import/export user guides are available on the i>clicker website.
What if I can’t advance my presentation slides?
This is resolved by clicking once with the mouse anywhere on your slide to regain control of your presentation.
Are there instructor resources (sample syllabus, ordering information, etc.) available to me?
There are a variety of instructor resources at http://www.iclicker.com/support/userguides/. Plus, in the software download we include a sample syllabus, cheating policy, forgotten clicker statement, etc. There is a campus hand out of i>clicker resources available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerresources.
What if the i>clicker remote number is not legible?
On most of the original i>clicker and i>clicker+ remotes, there is a second label containing the remote number just inside the battery compartment. On i>clicker2, the remote number is displayed on the LCD screen. The Illini Union Bookstore and TIS Bookstore also have equipment to help students determine their i>clicker remote number.
What should I do if i>clicker not working?
If the i>clicker base or software is not working, restart the computer. You may also try disconnecting and reconnecting the i>clicker base from the computer or plugging in the base to a different USB port.
What do I do if I get a “USB Hub Power Exceeded” message from the computer?
It is recommended that you plug the USB drive containing the i>clicker software directly into the computer you are using, not the i>clicker base station. Certain USB drives will exceed the power that the base can supply causing the error. If you need to use the USB port on the i>clicker base station, you may request an AC adapter available through CITL.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding i>clicker?
If you would like to get started with i>clicker at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (need equipment, want a consultation, need help integrating i>clicker with Illinois Compass or Learn@Illinois), please contacting the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest.
If you have a technical question and do not find your answer here, please contact the i>clicker technical support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-209-5698.
If you have a question about sales/service/policies and do not find your answer here, please contact i>clicker customer support at email@example.com or 866-209-5698.
What are the system requirements for i>clicker to work?
PC or Mac:
One available USB port
i>clicker software (free software that can run on a standard USB drive)
Campus download for use with Illinois Compass or Learn@Illinois
Other download for use with other learning management systems (or none at all)
i>clicker base station
Students purchase their own i>clicker remotes from the bookstore
Instructor remote (optional)
How do students register their remotes?
If you are using Illinois Compass or Learn@Illinois, they do it right in the learning management system. Software and instructions on using i>clicker with Illinois Compass and Learn@Illinois are available at http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload. This integration makes the process of downloading rosters, checking for student registrations, and uploading polling data into Compass or Learn a much easier process.
Otherwise, i>clicker currently offers two standard registration methods: in-class registration or online (web-based) registration, both of which are free and are easily incorporated into your course. Minimal information is required of your students and both registration options are tied to your class roster. The instructor should select which option he/she will use and notify students accordingly.
What should I know about student data (FERPA)?
Student data is stored on the USB drive that contains the i>clicker software and is subject to FERPA laws. Therefore, it is important to keep this information secure, private, and backed up.
Do my students need to be registered before class?
No, students do not need to be registered in order for i>clicker to collect votes. For students who are not yet registered, responses will be associated with the respective remote IDs. In other words, you can use i>clicker to collect data/votes from the very first day of class and eventually tie all students to their remote IDs through either, Illinois Compass/Learn@Illinois registration, roll call registration, or i>clicker web site registration.
Does i>clicker work with PowerPoint or other programs?
Yes. You can use i>clicker with PowerPoint or any other program you choose. In fact, if you have an existing presentation/lecture with multiple choice, T/F, or yes/no questions, you need not re-author your presentation you can simply insert your i>clicker questions right in the existing material. The unobtrusive i>clicker menu bar floats in front of your application, enabling you to poll at any point during your presentation (i.e. on a question slide). Each time you enable polling, i>clicker takes a picture of your screen (i.e. your question) for your later review of questions/responses. No additional work is required.
Why isn’t i>clicker showing up when I use it with Keynote?
In Keynote Slideshow Preferences, there is an option labeled "Allow Expose, Dashboard, and others to use the screen." If you check this, and then open i>clicker, the control bar should appear on the screen.
Can I ask a question spontaneously in class without having a slide written?
Yes, you can! i>clicker’s “On the Fly” text box is available from within from the i>clicker floating menu bar so you don’t have to quit your presentation to insert a spontaneous question. Your screen shot and question data are captured in i>grader for later review and point assignment. Note that you don’t have to use the “On the Fly” function in order to ask a spontaneous question—it is simply designed as a convenience so you don’t have to exit your presentation application. But many instructors ask the question verbally or via the chalkboard and then begin polling without formally typing a question into any software.
How do I review my questions after class?
You can review your questions later because i>clicker takes a screen capture of whatever is on your computer screen when you complete polling (i.e. press “stop” on the i>clicker menu bar). Most often, you will have a question on the screen or some indicator to jog your memory of what you asked.
Can I program correct answers ahead of time if I want to?
Yes, but assigning correct answers in or after class may be easier. Creating a question list allows you to customize the settings for each individual clicker question ahead of class. For example, you may have a presentation that you plan to use in your class and would like to assign a correct answer to each of the i>clicker questions in the presentation. You can create a question list that corresponds with your presentation so that when you ask the clicker questions in class the results are automatically graded and displayed in your results chart. In addition to assigning correct answers, you can use question lists to set question-specific settings such as question titles, results chart labels, points for each answer choice, and more.
I>CLICKER STUDENT REMOTE INFORMATION
Why might students need to change frequencies?
Changing the operating frequency prevents interference with nearby classrooms. Interference refers to student votes crossing over from classroom to classroom. All radio frequency response systems must offer varying frequencies in order to keep votes contained in the intended classroom. But you only need change the frequency if another i>clicker user is in a nearby room.
How do students change the remote frequency?
If you have chosen a non-standard frequency (e.g. BA) in Settings and Preferences, i>clicker will alert your students to this change when you begin polling. Students will be instructed to:
- Press the On/Off (power) button on their clicker until the blue Power light begins flashing (i>clicker) or the frequency letter flash (i>clicker2) which will take about 3 seconds.
- Press the new two-letter code (that you’ve designated in your Settings/Preferences). A green Vote Status light (i>clicker) or a check mark (i>clicker2) will indicate your students have successfully reset their remote frequency.
The entire process takes about 3 seconds. This code will remain in place for the duration of the lecture/session. The original i>clicker retains the frequency setting as long as the remote is on. If the student turns off the remote, it defaults to AA when turned back on and will need to be reset to the new frequency I>clicker2 retains the new frequency even after being turned off. Students will need to repeat this procedure for every lecture, which is why setting one code for the entire term will be easier to administer and communicate. Directions for changing a remote’s frequency are on the back of every remote. You may also adjust or disable your frequency change alert preferences via Settings/Preferences.
Is there an alternative to changing remote frequencies?
Yes, there is! If you believe that changing the frequency of your i>clicker base is too disruptive to class, there is another option you may try to potentially forgo this need. In Settings>Results>Results Display, put a check mark in Only display results from registered remotes and click Save. When you show the i>clicker graph in class, only your registered students will show up, not the extraneous polling results from the nearby classroom. This should only be done after your students have registered and you have synchronized their registration data through i>grader, otherwise no results will show up on the graph in class.
How will students know when their votes have been received?
When a student has voted successfully (that is, a vote has been received and confirmed), the “Vote Status” light on the student’s remote will turn solid green (i>clicker) or show a check mark (i>clicker2). If the student’s vote was not received, the vote status light will flash red three times (i>clicker) or show a do not enter sign (i>clicker2) indicating that the student will need to vote again. The most common reasons a student would see a red flashing light/do not enter symbol are:
- Polling is not active. If the student tries to vote either before you start polling or after polling is closed, the vote status light will flash red/show the do not enter symbol.
- The remote and receiver are not on the same frequency. If you change your frequency from the default, students will need to change the frequency on their remotes to match that of the receiver. If a student forgets to change the frequency, s/he will see a red flashing vote status light/do not enter symbol when trying to vote.
Note that the green light only flashes once, while the red light flashes three times. The difference in LED displays was designed considering the needs of color blind students.
Can students change their responses?
Students can change responses as long as the polling remains active/open. During an active polling period, i>clicker records each student’s last response. Once polling for a particular question has stopped, any response changes will not be received (and the vote status light will flash red/show the do not enter symbol).
Where do students get i>clicker remotes?
i>clickers can be purchased at the campus bookstores. Instructors treat them like required books when dealing with the bookstore.
Can an i>clicker remote be used as a loaner?
Yes. You can use spare remotes as loaners to students who may have lost a remote or forgotten to bring one to class. The remote ID can be assigned to a student for a single session, and the same remote can be reassigned in future sessions. Each instructor’s kit includes one student remote and can be used for loaning purposes. However, many professors opt not to offer loaner remotes because of class size and potential administrative problems. You will want to consider a set of ground rules before offering students an option to borrow remotes in order to minimize your class disruption.
Is there a chance of the receiver “losing” votes where students and I think they are recorded but they actually are lost?
The i>clicker base protocol is unique and allows for a superior system in terms of reliability and accuracy of vote collection. There is a virtually 0% chance of dropped or lost votes with i>clicker, as compared to the typical 5-6% with competing systems. This translates into a system that students trust and results in fewer headaches for you.
How do I view and display voting results in class?
A graph of your students’ results can be displayed either by clicking the “Show/Hide Results” button (looks like a graph) on the i>clicker floating menu bar, or pressing the “B” key on the designated instructor’s remote. You may also see results without having to display the histogram through the LCD screen on your receiver. The LCD data is updated every second, and includes the timer on the upper left, the total vote count on the upper right, and the distribution, by percentage, of votes across the 5 choices across the bottom.
Note that you control when and if the voting results are displayed; i>clicker does not automatically launch the voting results graph for pedagogical reasons. The flexibility of the i>clicker graph, combined with the LCD results feature, enable you to decide when and if voting results are displayed.
You may also view and export session results and reports after class using i>grader.
What is the difference between a score of Ab and a score of 0 in i>grader?
A zero indicates that the student did respond in class but did not meet your requirement for earning points. Ab (absent) indicates that the student did not provide any responses for a session. A student who missed class or did not answer any questions would receive an Ab. This value is treated as zero points for calculating averages, but is displayed differently to indicate at a glance that the student did not participate or was not in class.
How many points should I make i>clicker questions worth?
There is not a definitive answer to this question. Users and recent academic literature indicate that clickers are most effective when they are associated with “nominal” points, but not “too many” points. You need to assign enough credit so that students are motivated to bring their remotes to class and to hopefully think about the question being asked. Remarkably, a small number of points (less than 10% of the course grade) is often enough to motivate students to participate in class using their i>clicker remotes.
Many experienced clicker users discourage colleagues from assigning a lot of points to clicker questions, especially in large, introductory or survey courses. When clicker questions carry too much point value, the clicker becomes one more tool the student fears, and they are less likely to give an honest answer because they fear they will lose too many points. It can also encourage cheating. In the end, it depends on how you structure your course, your points, and your overall course goals.
What if the software or the computer crashes?
If your computer (or operating system) crashes, a few small files are generated each time a poll is conducted and the raw data files are updated. If a system were to crash mid-lecture, you would not lose any data that had occurred previous to the crash.
My class is finished for the semester and I will be teaching a new course. How can I start over?
The best way to start over with i>clicker is to download a new copy of the software. This will ensure you have the latest version of our software. Be sure to archive your old course folder for your records.
How do students with disabilities use i>clicker?
The intentionally simple design of i>clicker is inherently better suited to students with visual impairments. Most visually impaired individuals are able to navigate i>clicker’s simple six buttons using the raised battery compartment as a tactile reference point. I>clicker considered the needs of color blind students in creating the light patterns: the steady light of the received vote status LED versus the blinking light for votes that have not yet been received. Braille stickers are available that may be placed alongside the buttons. These are available through a special request of your i>clicker representative. Vibrating clickers further allow blind students to receive a vibrating vote confirmation. If a student needs to purchase a vibrating remote, they should simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more detailed information about i>clicker’s 508/Accessible features, consult our VPAT guide, available upon request from your i>clicker representative or by contacting our sales department at email@example.com.
Is training available?
Yes, a number of ways. i>clicker is supported on campus by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at http://go.illinois.edu/citlconsultrequest, who offers one-on-one consultations and workshops on demand.
Additionally, i>clicker offers daily online training sessions for users, led by an experienced i>clicker trainer. See the Events & Resources section of our website at www.iclicker.com to sign up for a training session.
Why do some of my student's remote IDs not match the IDs that I see in the i>clicker and i>grader software?
This is done to accommodate the use of old and new i>clicker remotes. This is adjusted automatically by the software.
Can I use my instructor remote and/or receiver for more than one course?
The i>clicker hardware can be used for as many courses as you like. To use the system with multiple courses, just create a new one in the Select your course: window when you open i>clicker.
How can I upgrade my i>clicker software?
Open i>clicker, then click Help>Check for Update in the menu bar. If an update is available, follow the prompts to complete the process. When you update, you will not lose your class data nor will your data be adjusted or changed. You can run Check for Update at any point during your course term. You may also download the latest campus software from http://go.illinois.edu/iclickerdownload.
Can I filter questions by demographic information?
Yes, you can set up demographic questions related to personal information like gender, age, political affiliation, or whatever you’d like as the i>clicker software allows for you to create your own demographic questions outside of our prepopulated questions. You only have to run the demographic questions one time—usually at the beginning of class—and then that demographic information will be stored throughout the semester and any subsequent question that you ask can be filtered by your demographic questions.
What is the “instructor’s remote” and what does it do?
The blue instructor remote looks and functions exactly like the white student remote until you (the instructor) designate it as your instructor remote via the i>clicker software (in Settings/Preference). Once enabled, your 5 clicker choices (A, B, C, D, E) become control commands, thus allowing you to control polling and your presentation from anywhere in the room. It also enables you to use the remote as wireless mouse in advancing/retreating your presentation slides. Instructor remotes are labeled differently than a student remote to indicate the control commands available.