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Clickers: Regarding Responseware

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A number of you are asking whether it’s possible for students to use Turning Technologies’ ResponseWare software on their mobile devices instead of buying clickers. We’ve examined this issue carefully, and have concluded that we should strongly urge faculty to not use ResponseWare for the following reasons:

  • Class delays: ResponseWare requires the instructor to start a new web connection for every class, because there are additional steps for both faculty and students to connect to the Internet to send answers from mobile devices to Turning Technologies servers and back to your session. This would be in addition to starting up the polling mechanism for use with clickers.
  • Confusion: For the student, keeping multiple devices registered for multiple classes is confusing, time-consuming, and could jeopardize accurate assessments if instructors update their participant lists using the wrong device.
  • Expense: Students could end up having to buy a clicker as well as the ResponseWare license they bought for your class if not all instructors adopt ResponseWare.
  • Service availability: We can't guarantee that wireless bandwidth will be available to ResponseWare users to support the necessary connections when you need to start your web session.
  • Attendance issues: Because the answers are sent out over the web, students using ResponseWare could check in for attendance or complete exams without even being in the room.
  • Distraction: Faculty on other campuses have found that students using cell phones as response devices in classrooms are less attentive as web browsing and texting are available on the same device.
  • Honesty: The availability of web browsing and other communication channels on the same device as is used for classroom response could lead to cheating among students.
  • Accessibility: ResponseWare does not appear to fully support HSU’s accessibility requirements for students with disabilities.
  • Efficiency: If ITS needs to support ResponseWare cellphone applications as well as clicker technology, it will negatively impact our ability to troubleshoot and resolve problems quickly, as we cannot provide support for student-owned devices.

For more information or if you have questions, call the Moodle office, (707) 826-3633, or email moodle.help@humboldt.edu

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