The following are frequently asked questions about clicker use at Ball State University:

What are clickers and why should I consider using them?
Clickers—or student response systems—are small handheld devices students use to respond to questions in class. The teacher has a base station and software to receive and track their responses. Clickers are used to engage students by having them answer conceptual questions throughout class. See the Instructional Uses of Clickers page for more details. Please note that "clickers" is a generic term for the technology, while "i>clicker" is a specific brand.
[return to top of page]

What kind of cost is involved in using clickers?
i>clickers are purchased by students for around $34 from the campus bookstores. That same i>clicker may be used in multiple classes, so it's a one-time investment for the student. The teacher's base unit and software are free with 100 student clicker purchases. But even if you have a small class, other faculty adopting i>clickers in large classes means you'll still get the free base unit and software. Some departments may be interested in purchasing the clickers and handing them out to students during class, but that can be a logistical hassle, so we recommend the standard student-purchase approach.
[return to top of page]

How many Ball State faculty members are using clickers?
Clicker use is increasing every semester, but here is some recent information:

  • i>clickers sold to Ball State students in 2009: 6300+ 
  • Ball State faculty using i>clicker in Spring 2010: approx. 50
  • Sample classes using i>clicker in Spring 2010: ARCH 273, ASTRO 124, BIO 100/112, BL 260, CHEM 100/101/111/112, CJC 102/311/312, COMM 210/214, DANCE 100, ECON 202, GEOL 101/206, HSC 160, PSYSC 100/316, RELST 160, SOC 100, SP 201, THEAT 100

[return to top of page]

Do I have to use the i>clicker brand?
No, you can use any brand of student response system you would like (like Turning Technologies or eInstruction). Ball State is standardizing on i>clicker to streamline faculty and student support, and to decrease the chance students have to buy different clickers to use in different classes.
[return to top of page]

How do I get started using clickers?
The best way to get started is to attend an introductory workshop offered through iLearn. Check iLearn's events page for a schedule. If those workshops don't match your schedule, we may be able to arrange individual support.
[return to top of page]

Is someone available to help me get started? 
iLearn has an experienced clicker-using faculty member support new clicker users.
[return to top of page]

What can I do to secure student data?
While i>clicker does not collect any sensitive student data, it will record student responses that may be part of their grades. In light of that, faculty members should consider ways of securing the data stored on your flash drive. On a related note, you are encouraged to regularly back up the i>clicker files on your hard drive to another secure location, such as your office computer; flash drives are small and can be easily misplaced.
[return to top of page]