Statement on Student Response Device Campus-Wide Standardization

Submitted by Paul Boyd-Batstone, FACT Chair

For Academic Senate review and discussion

Adopted by Academic Senate on March 12, 2009


Student Response Devices (SRDs), also called “clickers”, are handheld electronic polling devices used primarily in large lecture classes to increase student participation. They are found to be instructionally beneficial in a number of ways. With their growing popularity and variety of makes and models, both students and faculty are calling for campus-wide standardization.


WHEREAS, The Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) requested that the Faculty Advisory Committee on Technology (FACT) initiate an action toward standardization of SRDs campus-wide;


WHEREAS, Students are required to purchase SRDs from the University Book Store. Currently, there are three different SRDs ordered by faculty for purchase (eInstruction, iClicker, and Turning Technologies). Prices range in amounts from eInstruction: $18.00 for the device + a subscription usage fee ($13-$50.00); iClicker: $27.00 for the device only; to Turning Technologies: $46.00 for the device only;


WHEREAS, students in some cases are required to purchase all three different SRDs;


WHEREAS, standardization of SRDs campus-wide is affirmed by the Campus Book Store and would facilitate lower pricing options through contract negotiations with a designated vendor, increased resale value for reuse of the same devices, and SRD rental options;


WHEREAS, SRDs are in use throughout CSULB, including the following courses:  Physical Science 112; Physics 100A & 152; History 101, 172 & 173; Biology 111; Chemistry 111A;  Math 108; Music 190; Criminal Justice 406, and Library Services;


WHEREAS, standardization of SRDs campus-wide is affirmed by the Office of Academic Technology (OAT), the Faculty Center for Professional Development (FCPD), and the Technology Help Desk in order to foster informed technical support to faculty and students;


WHEREAS, standardization of SRDs campus-wide has been successfully implemented at the following CSU campuses:  SDSU, CSUN, CSU Chico Their reasons for standardization of SRDs include the following:

  • Eliminate pressure on faculty from textbook publishers pushing different clicker brands;
  • Reduce student costs by eliminating the need to purchase multiple clicker types;
  • Streamline technical support and training;
  • Enhance peer-to-peer exchange of technical experiences and pedagogical ideas.

WHEREAS, CSULB faculty have affirmed the need for a standardization of SRDs according to a recent survey of current “clicker” users conducted 12/8-15/2008 by the Faculty Advisory Committee on Technology;


WHEREAS, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Technology considered the following criteria for recommending an SRD for standardization to the Academic Senate:

  • Ease of use, and/or learning curve;
  • Mac/PC compatibility;
  • Does the software run with or without PowerPoint? With or without software?;
  • Accessibility: Is a Braille overlay available or a software alternative to the SRD that works on laptop computers or PDAs?
  • Hardware issues for students: cost, durability, ease of use, reliability of transmission, confirming indicators, and battery life and maintenance;
  • Cost to the institution to equip classrooms and internal tech support required;
  • Portability of the system;
  • Quality and availability of tech support from the manufacturer.

WHEREAS, a non-binding resolution from the Academic Senate regarding campus-wide standardization of SRDs does not prohibit faculty from using alternate products; it solely defines dedicated support to students and faculty;


RESOLVED, The Academic Senate recommends as non-binding a campus-wide standardization for iClicker.

According to the Center for Education Research and Evaluation at Columbia University, Student Response Devices (SRDs), also known as “clickers,” are used particularly in large lecture classes for the following instructional purposes:

  • To expose and clarify students’ misconceptions;
  • To differentiate between easier and more difficult concepts;
  • To promote interactivity and discussion in large group case-based learning;
  • To elicit and discuss diverse points of view when there is no correct answer (e.g., ethics);
  • To administer an effective review session/mock exam that gives immediate feedback;
  • To assess mastery of content;
  • To provide immediate feedback on the value of the learning session.


 “Clickers @ SDSU” survey conducted in the fall 2007.

According to a survey of over 3500 students at San Diego State University :

  • 79% of the students said that class clicker usage helps them to feel more involved in class
  • 88% of the students said that class clicker usage makes them more likely to attend class
  • 84% of the students said that their professor asks clicker questions which are important to their learning
  • 88% of the students said that class clicker usage makes them more likely to respond to a professor’s questions;


Information provided by Text Manager Tim Willis (12/1/08)

Educause (Nov. 2008)  “Clicker Pickers:  Four universities’ perspectives on standardizing on a classroom response system.”

FACT survey targeted selected CSULB faculty who are currently using SRDs. Their names were provided by the Campus BookStore based on orders for classes.