CETL's Clicker Tips and Tricks


Clickers provide a unique method for measuring student understanding: teach something, then pose a question to students to see if they “get it”. However, nothing fundamentally changes in your teaching practice when only used for quick checks of understanding. Instead, implement Peer Instruction and Clickers together. Peer Instruction inherently supports checking for understanding while also driving student to student discussions. This helps increase the amount of active, peer based learning in your course. In this way, students will learn from you and their peers.

For more information, please visit the Peer Instruction resources page. The information below will explore the technical aspects of implementing Clickers in your classroom.

Please avoid using Clickers only for in-class quizzes. Use a free or less expensive option including online Moodle quizzes or paper based quizzing.

REEF Polling with i>clickers

On February 19, 2013, Cal State LA’s Academic Senate endorsed the i>clicker as the recommended campus standard for clickers. This endorsement was meant to standardize one clicker product so that Cal State LA students were not compelled to buy different devices for different courses. 

Clicker FAQs

What do students need to buy and use in class?

Students should either buy the i>clicker student remote or purchase a REEF polling subscription for their smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

What software do instructors need to use?

Instructors should use the REEF Polling instructor application available for both Mac and PC. This solution offers grade sync with Moodle, to help transfer points earned in class sessions to the Moodle Gradebook. The i>clicker instructor software is no longer supported.

REEF Download

How do I get started with Clickers?

Attend the CETL Peer Instruction workshop. This will provide essential information on Peer Instruction and technical training on the REEF with i>clicker polling system.

What’s involved in a successful implementation?

To ensure a meaningful experience for students despite the added cost, follow these steps to implement Clickers in your classroom.

1. Attend the CETL Peer Instruction Workshop

First learn about Peer Instruction and the technical details of using Clickers in your classroom.

2. Borrow an Instructor Kit from CETL

CETL will loan you an instructor kit after you have attended the Peer Instruction workshop. The kit is yours to keep as long as you are using Clickers in your classroom. We ask that you return the kit to CETL during semesters where you will not use Clickers in class.

3. Practice Using the REEF Software and Clickers on your own

Use your instructor kit to practice using the REEF software on your own. Practice the following tasks:

  • Create a test course in REEF.
  • Start a polling session.
  • Open and close the poll.
  • Use the student remote to respond.
  • Download and use the REEF app on your device to participate as a student.
  • Show the results of the poll.
  • Mark the correct answer using the instructor remote and/or software.

4. Try Peer Instruction in Class

Take advantage of the free 14-day REEF trial. Students can download the app on their devices and participate in polling sessions in class for free. Keep this experience in mind as you decide whether to implement Clickers officially in a future semester.

5. Officially Adopt Clickers

Alert the bookstore of your decision to use Clickers in your upcoming class. In addition to textbook information, the bookstore will also inform students of the Clicker requirement for your course. Contact the bookstore for more information on textbook adoption deadlines. Students must be informed ahead of time of all instructional materials costs (including clickers) associated with your course.

6. Update Your Syllabus

Modify your syllabus using the sample policy language.

7. Add the REEF Link to Your Moodle Course

Add the REEF External Tool link in Moodle. This facilitates grade sync between REEF and Moodle. Remember, all students must click the link in Moodle to sync their REEF account with Moodle. Students will not see their points in the Gradebook unless they click the REEF link in Moodle. Review the REEF Instructor QuickStart Guide in the Peer Instruction Moodle course for more information.

8. Instruct Students to Create a REEF Account and Sync with Moodle

Give students a window of time in which they should visit your Moodle course, click the REEF link, and create their REEF account.  Make sure students use their Cal State LA email address for the REEF account.  Typically, this should be done within the first week. Address student concerns and/or technical difficulties during the first week. Refer students to the ITS Helpdesk for wireless Internet connectivity issues. Have students contact REEF directly for REEF account support.

Use these student resources to help students get started with REEF.

Student QuickStart Guide

Instructional Slides