UKZN Launches Smart Clicker to Improve Academic-Student Interaction
UKZN’s Smart Clicker – an audience engagement system which facilitates greater engagement between academics and their students – was launched at a workshop on the Howard College campus.
The launch was hosted by UKZN’s Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO) and ICS Academic Computing.
The Smart Clicker is an engagement system which allows those in an audience to use their own devices – such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones - to provide anonymous feedback via a web-based platform. Responses may adopt the form of multiple-choice or text.
Academics within the Institution can use the Smart Clicker for real-time feedback, formative or summative assessments to ascertain how concepts have been understood by students, as well as to field questions.
The development of the UKZN Smart Clicker was co-ordinated by UTLO Research Intern, Mr Ebrahim Adam, and ICS Academic Computing Manager, Mr Hilary Reynolds.
Adam says the Smart Clicker is particularly useful as it allows two-way communication between students and academics. ‘The UKZN Smart Clicker seeks to harness the power of BYOD (bring your own device) and allows students and, in general, members of any audience, to provide feedback to presenters from any Internet-capable device,’ said Adam.
The Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr Rubby Dhunpath, said the Smart Clicker was an accomplishment for UKZN. ‘We resisted demands to acquire the conventional proprietary Clicker, which might pose challenges in terms of access and customisation. We now have a home-grown application which can be enhanced in response to usage and additional functionality required by academics and support staff,’ said Dhunpath.
Reynolds said: ‘Several enhancements are planned that will give the system even greater value than it has.'
Over the coming months, ICS will host institution and college-wide workshops to familiarise the University community on the use of the Smart Clicker.
The UKZN Smart Clicker can be used at events, seminars, public lectures, workshops and conferences.
Academics or presenters who want to use the Smart Clicker should contact ICS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on this project and how-to videos are available on the UTLO website at http://utlo.ukzn.ac.za/smart-clicker