Student-Response Device (Clicker)

The student-response device, sometimes called a clicker, represents an innovation in classroom teaching. The device will allow you to respond to the instructor’s questions in real time. For example, during the lecture, I might ask a question like this one:

Economists define saving to mean that people:
a. put money in the bank.
b. put money in a box at home.
c. consume less than their incomes.
d. buy government bonds.

You answer by selecting a button on the clicker device. Then, within a few seconds, a graph that shows how students answered will appear on the classroom screen, and I will tell you what the correct answer was (c., for this example).

On the average, I will ask 4 clicker questions during each lecture class: a review question at the beginning of class and an average of three questions on topics covered during the lecture. The answers of individual students are automatically recorded in the instructor’s computer. The distribution of student answers will be displayed on the classroom screen. Of course, no information about individual student responses will be released.

I suggest you buy your clicker during the first week of classes (not before).  In fact, you will not be required to have it until September 19.  When you are ready to buy the clicker go here.

Set the clicker channel to 41

Be sure that your clicker is set to Channel 41.  If you are not sure, push the Channel button (bottom left), then 4, then 1, then Channel again.  You do not need to use the Channel button again unless you have changed your channel for another class.  Your clicker is always on.

To answer a question

To answer a question, press the button for the answer you want recorded. With the RF-LCD clicker, the green light comes on for a few seconds as confirmation that your answer has been received. In addition to the green light, you will see the answer you selected in the LCD window. There is no power button; the device automatically turns itself on and off.

Be sure you understand the clicker’s indicator lights

The LED light on the device will flash different colors to signal different events:

  • Green: Confirmation that your instructor’s receiver has received a response from your clicker.
  • Orange/yellow (single flash): Polling is not open; with the RF-LCD clicker, you will also see a circle with a line through it in the LCD window.
  • Orange/yellow (multiple flashes): Response is in the process of sending
  • Red: Your response has not been received by the instructor’s receiver; make sure your ResponseCard is set to the right channel and that your instructor has a clicker question on the screen.
  • Green and red: Your ResponseCard is in channel changing mode.

Replacing the batteries if the clicker stops working

The card is powered by two coin cell CR2032 (3.0V) lithium batteries. The average battery life is 6 to 12 months; the LCD window on the ResponseCard RF LCD displays a battery life indicator. You will need a Phillips screwdriver to remove the battery cover if you need to replace the batteries.  After you take off the cover, remove the used batteries with a fingernail or toothpick.  Insert the new batteries with the + sign up (but never use force).  Then replace the battery cover and screw it on.