iClicker Info For Spring 2019

January 2, 2019

If you are planning to use iClicker this semester, ETS has a number of recommendations:

 

Do what you can to help ensure student access to and success with clickers

  • Alert the bookstore that you’ll be using Clickers in your class; this helps ensure that they don’t run out of clickers. The best way to do this is to include iClickers in your bookstore order (the one you filled out months ago, right?); you can also email text@berkeley.edu.

  • Point students to our Students Getting Started page, where we tell students how to obtain clickers, including free and low-cost options. We also describe how students register their clickers and how they can be sure their responses are being recorded, as well as link to various help resources.

  • Please be mindful of the fact that, due to logistical challenges, our campus programs (EOP and ASUC) may not be able to guarantee distribution of clickers to all eligible students until the third week of classes. We respectfully request that you consider structuring your grading policies so that these students are not penalized for not having a clicker in the first few weeks of classes.

  • Students requesting help with their iClickers should be directed to Student Technology Services Help Desk, Moffitt Library 4th floor.

 

Update to the latest version of iClicker Classic

It’s always a good idea to make sure you have the latest version. Assuming you’re running version 7.4.5 or later, this takes less than a minute using the “Check for Update” option in your Help menu. Version 7.21 was released at the beginning of the year, and while there are no major new features in 7.21 (you can see a  full list of what’s new in the release notes) there are a few improvements of potential interest to UCB instructors introduced in releases that have come out in the last few months:

  • The ability for those with the role of TA in a bCourses site to sync*

  • Faster grade upload speeds for Canvas users in large courses*.

  • Session date and number are now sent to bCourses when syncing the Gradebook.

* TA synching and faster score uploads require that existing users also replace a configuration file: See “How can I update my iClicker Classic configuration file?”.  

And, if you’re new to using iClicker on the Berkeley campus, make sure to start from our Instructors Getting Started page

 

Take advantage of the Clickers Support resources available to you

  • ETS’ Instructors Getting Started page and Help Articles walk you through the steps for getting everything set up, and answer a good number of questions you may have. You’ll find links to additional resources on the Getting Started page, too.

  • Even seasoned users may want to walk through our Configuration article as there have been minor changes in Settings over the last few years that you may want to know about.

  • You can always email questions or concerns to clickers@berkeley.edu.

  • If you want one-on-one support for setting up and using Clickers in your course, you can schedule a Clickers consultation; please use our consultation calendar and select a “Clickers” appointment slot. (We can also connect you with our iClicker representative for one-on-one virtual trainings; email clickers@berkeley.edu about this, too.)

 

Want to allow use of the iClicker Reef mobile app along with dedicated Clickers? Consider replacing iClicker Classic with iClicker Cloud

While iClicker Classic is still fully supported by ETS, starting this semester we are cautiously recommending (and will do our best to support) iClicker Cloud. While either tool (Classic or Cloud) allows for responses from both Reef mobile apps and dedicated clicker devices, Cloud has a number of advantages:

  1. Fully online, editable gradebook

  2. Cloud backup and storage

  3. No roster syncing problems (as reported by peer institutions)  

  4. “Course sharing” features (new to the latest version) designed to make it easier for co-instructors who are using iClicker

  5. Students can see their iClicker history in the app (which they don’t have to purchase if using a remote), and (if you allow it) can review clicker questions to help them study

  6. ETS and iClicker support can troubleshoot most problems remotely, and without requiring you to upload your iClicker folder

  7. Finally, iClicker Cloud is the “next generation” tool from iClicker. While the vendor has not announced plans to discontinue iClicker Classic, we do see limited resources being put into iClicker Classic development (and bug fixes)

While the state of wifi on our campus doesn’t allow us to recommend the use of iClicker Cloud wholesale (i.e. with the expectation that all students will respond using Reef), using iClicker Cloud with a mix of Reef and dedicated clicker devices has proven successful at peer institutions with similar wifi limitations. If you’re interested, email clickers@berkeley.edu and we’ll be happy to discuss the situation in detail and/or help you get set up.

 

Sign up for the Clickers Updates mailing list

If you want to receive Clickers-specific email in the future (with info about any updates to the iClicker software or ETS’ Clickers service), please sign up for our mailing list, by joining the clickers-updates google group. (Use of this group will be limited to ETS announcements regarding software and service updates; for general discussion about classroom response systems and their use in teaching, please use Teach-Net.)