If your instructor plans on using i>clickers in your course they would normally announce this in class or post it on the course syllabus. Clicker use is mandatory only in a few faculties and departments at the U of A.
There are a number of options for students to purchase i>clickers:
- The U of A Bookstore carries enough clickers on hand to match the nubmer of courses using the tool in every term. The units are currently priced at around $56 (the price fluctuates with the amercian dollar exchange rate). The bookstore will also purchase back used remotes after a student is done using it for 50% of their initial cost at the end of their use. The bookstore sells the used remotes for $40. The units (both new and used) are not on the shelves - they can be purchased by going to the cashier desk and enquiring.
- You can also purchase a used remote directly from another student who no longer requires theirs. This will not impact how the clicker will be used for your course.
- Similarly, if you have a colleague who has a remote but does not have any courses in the current term requiring its use, you can borrow a remote and use it without any problems. If you and a colleague are taking 2 different classes that require using i>Clickers, you can share the same remote (and each register the same remote for the different classes.)
- Note: The U of A base station version and software versions are compatible with both the older (v.1) and more recent (v.2):
- The more recent version remotes do have some improved features (keeping a visual indicator of the vote you have made, better notifications about sub-frequency settings, etc.) but they are not required.
Setting the Remote Sub-frequency
During class, the first thing that you will need to do is set your remote to the sub-frequency of the room. This is required to differentiate your classroom from any nearby i>clicker-enabled classrooms that could be running polling simultaneously.
For version 1 remotes
- Hold down the power button for ~ 3 seconds on your remote until the blue light is flashing.
- Press the first letter of your room sub-frequency - the vote status light will flash orange.
- Press the second letter of your room sub-frequency - the vote status light will flash green if you have entered the code correctly.
For version 2 remotes
- Hold down the power button for ~ 3 seconds on your remote until the previous set frequency appears on the display (it will be flashing) above the text 'SET FREQ'.
- Press the first and second letter of your room sub-frequency - a check mark will appear to the right of the frequency if you have entered the code correctly.
- Some instructors do this step at the start of each class and some during the first question. When this occurs, on screen instructions should appear instructing you on this process:
- Polling is not fully opened until your instructor has turned off this instruction screen. While this screen is still displayed, older remotes will show a red warning light if you try to vote while the screen is still up; newer remotes will display the word 'CLOSED' below whatever vote you select.
- The instruction screen shown above is not required to set your sub-frequency so if at any time during polling, your remote flashes a red light when you vote (old versions) or says 'NO BASE' or 'CLOSED' (new version), you should reset your sub-frequency following the steps above. This may be required for example if your remote powers off and/or resets.
- Once you have registered your room's base station sub-frequency on the NEW remote, it should stay set for the entire term.
Voting with the Remotes in Class
Whenever your instructor wants to gather responses to a question, they will post the question through whatever presentation tool they are using. For example, they might display a powerpoint slide with the question and multiple choice answers listed. Then they would launch i>clicker. Once they start polling (and turn off the sub-frequency instructions), the clicker toolbar timer will begin counting. Click the vote of your choice, A - E. You will know your vote is recorded if you see a green light in the vote status (old version) or a check mark beside your vote (new version). If you see a red light or 'NO BASE', you should go through the steps to re-enter the room sub-frequency.
The clicker software counts the last vote you select before polling is closed so feel free to change your vote right up until the instructor stops polling. If you are on a new remote, your seleted vote will appear on the display; on an older remote there is no display of your vote so if you are unsure what you pressed, enter your choice again.
If your instructor has asked you to register your clicker remotes, this is not something that can be done in class. See the following article for instructions on how to do this: Registering Your i>clicker - Students.