Clicker and Class Response System on the Web

Search Popularity of Different Names of Clicker

– Lei Bao at webclicker.org, 3/6/2014


Clickers have a wide variety of formally defined names by different manufacturers and users, which include Audience Response System (ARS), Classroom Response System (CPS), Personal Response System, Student Response System (SRS). To explore the popularity of different keywords, I did a simple Google search for the different names listed in the table blow. It turns out that Personal Response System is the most popular name for a clicker system.

As the different "response systems" are dominantly popular online, "web clicker" is 20-50 times less popular showing that web based clicker system is still at its young age, however, growth in the area is inevitable and rapidly developing. In addition, there are only 19 hits of "free web clicker" and webclicker.org is the only  true free web based student response system. 

Table 1. Search Popularity of Names of Student Response Systems (Clicker).
Data summarized from Google Searches on 03/06/2014.     

Names Google Google with " "
Audience Response System 37.3 M 146 K
Classroom Response System  20.7M 817 K
Personal Response System 177 M 55.6 K
Student Response System 112 M 124 K
Response System 537 M 1.11 M
Clicker 7.50 M  
Clickers 1.15 M  
Web Clicker 6.19 M 5.25 K
Free Web Clicker   19

Another more "ancient" name for clicker uses the word polling. It is now much less popular but still maintain a large user base. See table 2.  

Table 2. Search Popularity of Names of Student Polling Systems (Clicker). 
Data summarized from Google Searches on 03/06/2014.   

Names Google Google with " "
Audience Polling System 41.8 M 48.5 K
Classroom Polling System  1.07M 12.6 K
Personal Polling System 11.4 M 13
Student Polling System 5.59 M 1.5 K
Polling System 68.2 M 127 K
Polling 18.3 M  
Web Polling 16.4 M 14.6 K
Web Polling System 32.1 M* 28
Free Web Polling System 195 M* 5

*These names are much less popular but they all include popular words such as free and web. So the results here are not meaningful to the original purposes. 

Personal Response System and Web Clicker

From Clickers to Web Clickers: The Next Generation Cloud-based Free Personal Response System at WebClicker.org

– Lei Bao at webclicker.org, 3/6/2014

Classroom response systems, often called clickers, are a technology used to promote active learning in a classroom. There are several popular names for such systems including as student response systems (SRS), audience response systems (ARS), or personal response systems (PRS). Research has shown that by using clickers students become engaged and enjoy learning.

In a classroom, clickers provide a mechanism for students to participate interactively learning activities anonymously, to express their own views and ideas without peer pressure, to explore and reflect on alternative ideas and develop their own reasoning,  to obtain self-reflection and evaluation as formative feedback to their learning.

For teachers, the clicker technology also provides means to anchor and initiate meaningful discussions and other active engagement learning activities, to control and maintain effective and appropriate paces of learning, and to obtain formative assessment for optimized learning paths.    

In the past decade, hardware clickers have been widely popular in secondary and higher education, generating a wave of flipped classrooms. Despite the huge success, there are a few limitations impede the dissemination of the clicker methods into needed classrooms. First and the most central issue is the costs. Hardware clickers have a moderate price tag and require technology maintenance. The distributions of hardware clickers also require extra time and or costs to students.  Application wise, the hardware clickers have limited functions (often multiple-choice only), require PowerPoint integration, which is an extra time hole for instructors to prepare lectures,  and are often operated locally so that the questions, practices, and data cannot be easily shared, a critical weakness in building a collaborative learning community.

With the fast forwarding trend of mobile technology and community, it is time for an evolution to carry the hardware clickers into the cloud age. Through years of research and development, we now provide the community a free mobile based web clickers (webclicker.org), as an alternative option of free personal response system. The system works on any internet accessible devices (smart phones, Pads, PC’s, and Laptops).  Using the system is totally free. There are no hardware purchases, no app downloads, and absolutely no cost! Designed and developed by teachers and education researchers, it is a tool to upgrade your classroom for improved learning with effectiveness, convenience, and flexibility.