Interactive Response Systems

A.K.A. Clickers

Basic Purpose of Clickers

Interactive Response Systems enable teachers to use electronic voting to gain feedback from students. Students enter their answers anonymously using the clicker system which works wirelessly to send a signal from the clicker itself to the teacher’s computer.

Why Use Clickers in a K12 Classroom?

Clickers, or Interactive Response Systems (also called Student Response Systems), are a way to engage ALL students in a classroom while allowing the teacher to receive feedback from the students. IRS engages the students because everyone is able to participate without having to wait a turn to speak or write an answer on the board; it creates an active learning environment where everyone is involved. It also provides the teacher with a way to informally assess the students using a quick and easy method and reaches even the students who are reluctant to share in class. By having individual responses, the students are more likely to share because they are not in a position to be embarrassed by their answers, comments, or questions.

Resources for Best Practices with Clickers

Using Clickers in the Classroom

How to Use Clickers

Using clickers in the classroom can be as simple, complicated, or overwhelming as the choices you make. The software needed on the computer really depends on what hardware the teacher chooses to use; it goes without saying that every piece of equipment is different, and therefore, the level of difficulty varies with each different style and kind of clicker. All it takes is to do a quick search on Amazon.com or EBay.com to see the plethora of clicker devices! Furthermore, the teacher can choose to use a device that most students already have as a “clicker”—mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, and even laptops—which may be the simplest version of interactive response systems. Below, you will find how-to resources, but keep in mind that the instructions are specific to the clicker hardware featured.