Clicker is a reading tool that has been proved to help students to achieve academic gains. Clicker is used in many institutions around the world with over 1.5 million students using it. Clicker has many tools some of which include: clicker writer which is important in developing the writing skills of a writer, natural voice which encourages self-correction and clicker grids that helps in building writing confidence inter alia.
Normally, a portable small receiving station is strategically placed in a classroom so as to gather and record student responses. Depending on the teacher’s prerogative, each student can be assigned a clicker. Clickers allow for active participation by students as well as providing immediate feedback from the teachers or instructors (Bruff, 2008).
There are different challenges that face the clicker software. These challenges can be grouped into five categories depending with the nature of the problem. Some of the common problems include students failing to attend a class, students coming to class unprepared, the instructor not knowing whether or not the students understand, student failing to get the point and students getting bored with what is being taught (Diers, 2009).
How clickers work
The diagram below is a summary of the process involved in using clickers as an academic tool. More often than not, the details differ but there must be a specific way of accessing information using clickers.
In the diagram below, it is evident that there are three major factors that may contribute to the failure to receive a signal on clicker. Primarily, these categories are: transmission errors that involve the sending of information from clicker to the receiver as well as the wireless link between the clicker and the receiver. We also have user interface errors that involve technical issues in the interface and finally User operational errors that are determined by the user setup configuration.
According to this fishbone diagram, the above mentioned causes of failure to transmit information on the clicker can be avoided. Business managers should be able to effectively work on the system so as to have more clients.
These can be caused by the four primary issues namely faulty connections, low signal from the main server, faulty equipment as well as hacking. Because of these issues, there is bound to be a problem in the transfer of information to the clicker hence a big problem for the users. In order to find a solution for the users, it is advisable for the system operators to ensure that equipment is in good order while at the same time ensuring that there is always a stand by backup plan to solve any system related issues.
User operational issues occur as a result of discrepancies in the user setup configuration as well as the channel of the clicker. Some of the common issues that bring about user operational issues are ignorance on the users’ side, faulty equipment being used in the entire business as well as wrong selection of channels used in the transmission of the signal from the student to the clicker and finally the receiver. As a remedy for this issue, business managers of clicker systems should ensure that the systems are in good condition. The right connections should be made so as to avoid the possibility of delay or failure in delivering information to the clicker.
Finally, when addressing User interface errors, it is important to understand that its primary cause is purely technical. More often than not, issues such as delays in readability of the question on the screen, feedback from LCD display screen on the clicker as well as the user input controls contribute greatly to the final transfer of information to the student. In the event that a company has faulty LCDs in terms of their visibility, or a student enters a question with grammatical or semantic errors, the system may fail to recognize whatever information a user wants to access (Diers, 2009).
Technically speaking, clicker has 3 major processes specifically cut out for making it easy for users. Clients will queue as they wait to be served. The first process is whereby one will swipe his or her card which will be automatically detected by the machine, after which the system will display information that the student or user will follow to the latter. Finally, one will go to the check-out area to finalize the process (Chasteen). This is as illustrated in the diagram below.
In this regard, clicker provides users with a very easy way of accessing both academic and non-academic material. As a way of improving the flow of information and the AP function thereof, it is important to ensure that these above mentioned factors are carefully taken care of. It is imperative to come up with a completely functional system that will ensure that there are no transmission, user interface and operational errors. It is also important for user to be well educated or sensitized on how to use the said academic tool so as to make work easier.