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What’s up with clickers?

Hand holding a clicker

Confused about classroom clickers? Don't worry, you're not alone!

Classroom clickers are changing this fall, and it’s a little confusing. Here are answers to questions frequently asked by Illinois State University students.

What is a clicker, anyway?

“Clicker” is an informal name for an “audience response device.” It’s a hand-held card, like a remote control, that allows you to participate in a class discussion by “voting” in polls or answering multiple choice questions. Know those video trivia games at sports restaurants? Same idea. Your instructor can display the results in real-time in front of the entire class. It’s a great way for teachers to keep you interested in a lecture and find out if the material is sinking in. Currently, Illinois State University officially supports one clickers vendor, a company called TurningTechnologies (their product is called TurningPoint).

How do I know if I need a clicker for my class?

Clickers are listed with the required textbooks for a class. So, if your instructor is going to require you to have a clicker and subscription, you will see it listed along with the books for the class.

Do I need a subscription to use my clicker this fall?

Yes! This is the big change for the fall of 2016—you’ll need to have both the device and a license (subscription) for any class that uses clickers.

Do I need to buy a license or subscription for each class?

No. If you have more than one class this semester that will use clickers, the same subscription is good for all of them.

Where do I buy my clicker and subscription?

A four-year subscription bundled with a physical clicker is available for purchase from the campus bookstores. You also have the option of buying a four-year or a one-year subscription and device bundle directly from TurningPoint through its Illinois State student store (you’ll need to create an account using your @ilstu.edu email address first).

I have a clicker from last year. Do I need a subscription?

Yes, even if you already purchased (or were given) a physical device, you’ll need a subscription in order to use it for any class starting this fall. Both the campus bookstores and the TurningPoint store offer standalone licenses (either one or four years) that you can pair with a clicker you already own.

How much is this going to cost?

It depends on what you buy and where you buy it from. But there’s a way to get some cash back—TurningPoint is offering rebates for Illinois State University students who buy a clicker subscription during this academic year. So save your receipt!

You can redeem rebates through Rebates.TurningTechnologies.com. Use one of the following codes, depending on what you purchased for this year:

1 year license only ($20.99 rebate): Risu20
4 year license only ($37.00 rebate): Risu37
4 year license and device bundle ($20.99 rebate): Risu20

Can I use my subscription with my smartphone instead of buying a physical clicker?

A vast majority of instructors this fall will require you to use an actual clicker device in class, so you should assume you’ll need both the device and the subscription. The only way to be sure, otherwise, is to ask your instructor.

OK, once I get my clicker and subscription, do I need to register them?

Yes, you’ll need to link your device and subscription with your Illinois State email address. This is done through a link in your course’s ReggieNet site after the start of the semester. Your instructor will have information on how to do this, or you can use this downloadable guide.

Where do I get help?

Contact TechZone if you think your physical device is malfunctioning. All other questions should be directed to the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-HELP.

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