As an educator, you feel your students’ pain, because not so long ago you were in a similar spot. Flashback! – Whatever time, whatever age, whatever year it was, you made the conscious decision to further your education beyond your high school hallways and dive into higher education’s collegiate collective. The important, life-changing decision shaped the direction of your career and had an impact on where you are today. Between transportation, room and board, books and supplies, and the ramen noodle cups and pizza to sustain that all-night appetite, college was EXPENSIVE.
And it still is. In fact, tuition has risen 134% since 2002, according to US News data. Any additional cost is another zing on the student's wallet and may impact the student's lifestyle. Many instructors keep affordability in mind when considering resources for their students, while at the same time ensuring they get a quality educational experience. Many nickels and dimes, loonies and toonies, and all other forms of currency have been invested in these hopes and dreams. With digital innovation continuing to sweep the ed tech world, creative forms of teaching and learning have further developed the quality of education and grasp at the shortening attention span of students all over. But what works?
For one, active learning. The teaching strategy has been making waves in supporting classroom engagement and knowledge retention for some time, but attention to it has increased significantly with the pandemic. It has been “student-tested, instructor-approved,” and there have been studies to back it up even in the higher education world. Although active learning has been proven to increase student performance, it can also come at a cost. So how can you balance affordability with proper pedagogy?
iClicker has partnered with many institutions across North America to help make this digital tool free for students through the Institutional Site License (ISL) program. Nicole Skwarek, a Specialist Manager in Enterprise Solutions at Macmillan Learning defined an ISL as a “centrally funded license of the iClicker student response platform. It allows instructors to use this type of technology [iClicker] in the classroom, while removing the cost burden off of students”.
Students pay nothing out of pocket. Yup, you read that right.
Engage and save has a nice ring to it! With an ISL, your institution covers the cost for students using the iClicker mobile app, allowing students to jump right into the class with their learning tool worry-free. One less concern to address during syllabus week!
Institutional or Departmental
Want to test out a site license? You can choose from an institutional site license or a departmental site license. With a departmental site license instructors and students from a certain department can use iClicker at no cost, in the same way an ISL can. Some colleges and universities try this route to dip their toes in the water first before going all in.
Free iClickers = Increased Active Learning
When institutions choose an ISL and remove the cost barrier, usage of iClicker significantly increases. This helps to increase student success and performance, as well as attendance. In this situation, everyone wins!
Don’t do any in-house training? Not to worry! A dedicated iClicker representative will be happy to provide you and your colleague's training, for both administrators and instructors, while supporting the implementation of all things iClicker. This includes Learning Management System (LMS) integration assistance. This is all pretty handy when getting set up at the beginning.
So you had some training, but still have some questions? In addition to having a stellar support team, there is also an iClicker knowledge base to help answer any specific questions for students, instructors, and administrators!
Access to Usage Reports and Troubleshooting Tools
Administrators who gleefully love data, we see you. Want to see who your power users are? Want to know what the usage on your campus looks like? We have tools that not only get you that data but also help you troubleshoot any questions you have on your campus.
Attend, Engage, Focus, Retain
Dr. Kelly Noonan, lecturer for Economics at Princeton University, uses Princeton’s ISL for her course. Dr. Noonan teaches a large class, and when asked why she decided to use iClicker she responded, “[it] allows me to monitor attendance and understanding of the material presented during class. It also allows some interactive ‘games’ that make use of the material presented.”
The cost was a barrier for Dr. Noonan and her students, but thanks to her university’s ISL, it made for an easy choice. “Students are much more likely to attend lectures and they do respond to all polls during class.” With iClicker, students can have their voices and thoughts heard while learning in real time. They attend their sessions, engage in the conversation, focus on the lesson, and strengthen their knowledge retention. Classrooms big and small have taught us that higher-level critical thinking and sharpened focus are a power duo born from active learning’s influence. With these tools may come some barriers, but here’s a question for educators all over: If students at your university could have free access to a tool that improves a student’s concentration and lesson recollection in and outside of class, why wouldn’t you try it out?