Student Response Systems (Clickers)

1ClickerStudent Response System, or “Clicker” technology, is an effective way to create an interactive learning environment that:

  • Bridges accessibility gaps
  • Engages students by promoting classroom participation
  • Creates dynamic distance learning environments

What are TurningPoint Clickers?

TurningPoint is a hybrid hardware-based and software-based student response system (clicker) used by the University of Denver. Students may purchase clickers from the DU Bookstore and instructors should include orders for clickers in their book orders. The clicker is the property of the student and comes with a 12 month software license. At the instructor’s discretion, students may use their mobile phones, tablets or laptop browsers in lieu of the hardware-based clicker.

  • Clickers are response cards that are used to vote on questions projected in the classrooms. Clickers use radio frequency technology to transmit and record student responses to questions and instructors use them to help keep their students engaged in what’s going on in class.
  • Responses are collected using a small wireless USB receiver that plugs into the computer in the classroom and are displayed in a histogram when voting has finished.
  • Clickers require that software is installed on the computer that is being used to present in the classroom.  Instructors must create an account with TurningPoint Cloud to download the software.

What is TopHat?

  • TopHat is a web-based or mobile phone app that is used to vote on questions projected in the classrooms. It replaces the need to have a separate device for in-class polling.
  • Responses are collected via the web, the mobile phone app, or text messaging. The results can be displayed on the computer in the classroom via the web, and do not require any additional hardware or software to be installed on the classroom computer.
  • TopHat requires each student to purchase a license from TopHat to use their computer or mobile phone. The app can be purchased for 4 months at $25, 12 months at $36, or $72 for your student career.  Sign up here.
  • There is no charge for a professor to use TopHat in their course. Sign up here.

 How should I use a Student Response System?

It is no secret that students will be more engaged and involved when they are asked meaningful questions.  Meaningful questions require students to think critically and allow instructors to address student needs.

How Can I Learn More?

7 Things you should know about Clickers Educause Learning Initiatives provides 7 quick facts about clickers and how it is reshaping the use of technology in classrooms.

How Can I Get Started?

Get DU support for clickers from the Office of Teaching & Learning at 303-871-2084 or email

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