Audience response systems or clickers, as they’re commonly known, are designed to support communication and interaction in the learning environment. When implemented successfully, clickers can help engage learners, encourage interaction and contribute to student learning.

Why Would I Use Clickers?
Studies show that most people’s attention lapses after 10 to 18 minutes of passive listening. Inserting a few ARS – facilitated activities every so often during a lecture can help maintain learners’ attention.
When Can I Use Clickers?
Posing a question, giving students time to think about it and record their answers via clickers, and then displaying the results can be an effective way to warm a class up for a discussion. Compared with the approach of taking the first hand that is raised after a question is asked, this approach gives all learners time to think about and commit to an answer, setting the stage for greater discussion participation.
Additional Information
There are many resources available online concerning the use of clickers in the classroom. The IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning offers a page Using Clickers in the Classroom. In addition, Vanderbilt University has a robust page on clickers that goes into details such as What is a CRS, Teaching with CRS, and Challenges in Using CRS.

Krista Longtin

Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis