Classroom Response Systems at TTU

03Jan12

Classroom Response Systems, or clickers, are everywhere.  Ever since
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, instructors have been polling the
“audience” for the correct answer. For a couple of years now, these
polling systems have been used at TTU. Chemistry and Physics, just to
name a few departments, have had great success applying this technology
in their large lecture sections. But these systems do require an expense
by the student. The expense may be in the purchase of the clicker itself
or in the registration of the clicker with the polling system company.
Although this is usually a modest cost to the student, this past fall
semester five different polling systems were used in classrooms across
campus. To keep students from having to purchase or register for
multiple clicker systems, the following actions were taken by the
Technology Institute.

This past November an invitation was made to all departments to come to
an expo given by various participating clicker technology companies and
hosted by the Technology Institute. The expo, held later that month,
allowed interested parties to try out the different clicker systems and
ask questions of the company representatives. The companies present at
the expo were CPS, iClicker, Turning Technologies, and Top Hat Monocle.

In early December another invitation was sent to all departments
interested in clicker technology to help form a clicker committee.  The
mission of this committee was to decide which clicker company would be
the sole provider of classroom polling technology for Tennessee
Technological University. From the responses given, a committee was
formed and its function was carried out.

After careful deliberation, Top Hat Monocle was chosen as the classroom
response system for TTU starting this spring semester, 2012. By using
Top Hat Monocle, students need only register once (at a cost of $38 for
five years) and then use their own cell phone, smart phone, iPod, iPad,
or laptop to participate in polling (If a student does not have a web
appliance, they may contact the Technology Institute). Likewise, faculty
should find this system very convenient because polling can be done
using any computer in any classroom.  Also, since it is a purely web
based system, no hardware or software needs to be installed. If you or
any of your faculty would like to see a demonstration of Top Hat
Monocle, please go to http://www.tophatmonocle.com/.

Finally, the Technology Institute has been tasked by Academic Affairs to
form another committee.  This committee will be writing policy regarding
the use of classroom response systems on campus. If you have an interest in the writing of this policy, please do not
hesitate to send an email to institute@tntech.edu.  Thank you.

Michael Allen
Director
TTU Technology Institute

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