These are suggestions for being flexible and resilient with clicker technology:

  1. Use clickers often enough to allow for X number of dropped grades (if you are going to grade student responses). Because technology involves many variables, simple problems can discourage its use.  Thus, it’s essential to provide an “out” for those times when a student’s smart device doesn’t function properly, the wireless system is malfunctioning, etc.
  2. Begin using the clickers in the first week but do not begin integrating grades until the third week. This will allow the students the time to get signed up, you the time to get kinks worked out of the system, and everyone the time needed to adjust to the technology in this particular space.
  3. “Chunk” your lesson plan. “Chunking” refers to the practice of 10’-15’ of instruction followed by a clicker question.  For a 50’ lecture, you may want to create a clicker question for every 4-7 lecture slides.  An important advantage of chunking your lectures and classroom experience is that students feel more inclined to remain engaged with the material.
  4. Use clickers as performance and participation metrics but NOT as attendance trackers. Focusing on effective participation is much more profitable than checking attendance.  If students are participating, they are present; however, it is possible for students to be present and not participate.