Chapter 13 Clickers, Student Responses, and Alternatives

13.1 Handheld Clicker

External vendors provide hardware (receivers) to faculty for free, and students buy a handheld device (usually $20) and maybe also online access by semester. Vendors include iClicker, CPS, and Turningpoint

13.2 Cloud-Based Clicker Alternatives

External vendors that use a website to track student input data using their own devices (laptop, smartphone, etc) and the campus wi- fi. Vendors charge students per semester (usually $20); there is no hardware for faculty members. Examples include LearningAnalytics, Top Hat Monocle, and Via Response.

13.3 PollEverywhere

Cloud-based clicker alternative that uses cell phone texting (SMS) for student responses. Business model calls for faculty-centered payment by user, but the free option suffices for anonymous polling of up to 35 students.


Like PollEverywhere, is a website that allows for free polls; in this case, up to 1,000 participants (but the free version is limited to three questions).

13.5 Hand Held Response Cards

Distribute (or ask students to create) standardized cards that can be held aloft as visual responses to instructor questions. Example: hand- write a giant letter on each card to use in multiple choice questions.

13.6 Plickers

free handheld response cards for download ( that get scanned by teacher’s smartphone, even at a distance, to “collect” results.

13.7 Color Boards

Students are issued (or create their own) a set of four paper-sized cards. These can be used to vote on questions raised in class by lifting the appropriate board into the air. Optionally, the back of each card should be white so students do not see what others have answered.

13.8 Fingers on Chest

Students vote on multiple choice questions by showing a finger count (1 through 4). Rather than raise them into the air, they hold their fingers across their chests so other students don’t see what the majority is voting.

13.9 Assertion Agreement

Pose an assertion at the start of class that students vote on agreement; then revisit the same question after the class lecture/discussion has explored the concept more deeply.