Student Response Systems (Clickers and TopHat)

Student Response Systems

Using Student Response Systems 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

DU has two Student Response System options which both have the option of integrating into the Canvas LMS: TurningPoint Clickers and TopHat.

1Clicker

TurningPoint Clickers

What are TurningPoint Clickers?

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.

How Does it Work?

TurningPoint is a hybrid hardware- and software-based student response system. 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. At the instructor’s discretion, students may use their mobile phones, tablets or laptop browsers in lieu of the hardware-based clicker.

Setup and Fees

  • 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 to download the software. DU is using Turningpoint Version 8.
  • Students must 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.
  • Instructors can automatically load student’s clicker scores into Canvas. Please see our help article for specific instructions to set up this integration.

 

Top Hat

What is Top Hat?

This web-based software helps educators take attendance, administer polls, games and quizzes, and share lecture notes—all by connecting to students’ mobile devices or laptops (think clickers, except bring-your-own-device).

How does it work?

Top Hat can be used through any mobile device by texting, any smart device through their app or through a web browser. Students will have to log into Top Hat on their devices.

Why use Top Hat over traditional clickers?

With Top Hat, the student is already carrying their mobile device or laptop to class and uses the technology already built into their web-enabled devices to record their answers. Top Hat also allows for more types of questions to be asked, such as image based, hot spot mapping, formula and short answer questions within the classroom rather than just multiple choice questions. Answers can be tied to the Top Hat gradebook or can be collected anonymously.

Won’t students be distracted with their phones or attempt to cheat?

Top Hat has anti-cheating measures in place to ensure the integrated of the classroom. If a student leaves the Top Hat browser or app, they will be lock-out of answer the question. Top Hat is only using the updated technology, that students already carry around with them daily, to allow for a faster, more convenient, quizzing experience.

Below are links to some of TopHat’s Guides.

Setup and Fees

  • Instructors can automatically load student’s clicker scores into Canvas. Please see our help article for specific instructions to set up this integration.
  • TopHat requires each student to purchase a license from Top Hat 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 Get Started?

Getting started: Tophat

Getting started: TurningPoint

Both TurningPoint and TopHat provide 1:1 training for these devices.

Additional support for clickers is availble from the Office of Teaching & Learning by appointment. Please call 303-871-2084 or email otl@du.edu to schedule.

© 2014 University of Denver - Office of Teaching & Learning