UNC Charlotte switching ‘clicker’ vendors

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, the University will begin to use Poll Everywhere software for classes that use a student response system, previously known as clickers.

The Center for Teaching and Learning is available now to assist faculty members with the migration to this new vendor, which resulted from recommendations from the Clicker Evaluation Committee, a group of approximately 40 faculty, staff and student representatives.

“By attending vendor demonstrations, understanding the costs associated with the technology and comparing with our present solution, the committee concluded that the best decision would be to change the vendor and the technology from Turning Technologies to Poll Everywhere,” said Bruce Richards, senior instructional technologist with the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Poll Everywhere offers significant cost and system improvements versus Turning Technologies, as recognized by faculty, students and staff. These include ease of use, product stability, low teaching and learning support experiences, learning management system integration, vendor support, reporting capabilities, ADA compliance, low learning curve, data security and reporting, browser and device consistency, FERPA compliance, cross-platform support and pedagogical advantages, plus the flexibility and adaptability in meeting a growing student population. 

In preparation for the changeover that begins summer 2017, faculty will only need to register in their respective courses that they will be using Poll Everywhere for active learning. 

Students will have access to the student response system (clicker technology) without having to purchase a license. The Clicker Evaluation Committee also recommends that the University continue to use clickers from Turning Technologies until the end of spring 2017 to give faculty and students ample time to transition to the new system.

The Clicker Evaluation Committee began its vendor investigations in October 2016. Prior to this, two University-wide surveys were sent to faculty, staff and students to gather feedback on their experiences and perceptions regarding the applicability of clicker technology to the educational needs of the University.

CTL’s Richards said it was important for the University to remain current with student response systems in order to strengthen the intentional use of technology in the classroom.