“Clickers” come to Gustavus Posted on September 26th, 2007 by

New in the realm of education is a technology called “Audience Response Systems,” fondly known as “Clickers.” Different schools use them in different ways, but at Gustavus, we are implementing them for use as anonymous polling devices. Turning Point Technologies developed a program that works along side PowerPoint, allowing users to create presentations that poll the audience and create graphs of the data collected. These slides can be placed within an existing Powerpoint Presentation, or a new presentation can be created to include some (or all) interactive slides. This presentation can be given on any computer that has Turning Point Software installed. This software has been installed on a number of computers throughout campus upon which presentations like these may be played, for example, the banquet rooms and Olin 103. It can be installed onto any campus computer upon request.

It works using a small USB device. This plugs into any computer. Each audience member is issued a small touch pad, known as a “clicker”. Interactive slides are designed to align with the buttons on the touch pad. Thus, the audience is asked a question, and they respond using their touch pad. These responses are detected by the USB device and recorded anonymously into the Powerpoint Presentation. This data is represented in a graph of the designer’s choosing. After the presentation is finished, the data collected from the audience can be exported into an Excel Spreadsheet for further reference. Gustavus Technology Services has 90 “clickers,” all of which can be used on a single USB device. However, they are checked out in batches of 30, with one USB device for every 30 clickers.

Currently these devices can be checked out by contacting Joyce Aarsvold. In the future they might be part of a more elaborate, web-based check-out system. Instructional Services would be happy to provide you with a mini-tutorial if you plan on using the clickers. Please contact Joyce Aarsvold (joyce) or Betsy Langowski (elangows) if you’d like more information.


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