4 reasons Universities are still using Clicker Student Response Systems

Higher Education

Peter Eyre
by Peter Eyre
4 reasons Universities are still using Clicker Student Response Systems

Clinging on to clickers?

The big players in providing these systems are certainly wanting people to stay wedded to clickers, Universities however are now making the switch en masse to modern polling and Q&A apps. So, given the clear benefits to an institution of a cloud-based software solution why are any sticking with out of date tech, and unrealistic pricing plans…?

Here’s the top 4 reasons institutions shared with us as to why they clung on and what gave them the confidence in the end to make the switch…

1. They’re heavily invested:

The reality is many institutions are either locked in contracts or simply (and understandably) feel heavily invested in this tech so making the move can feel quite onerous.


The reality of moving across to a software-based student response system is that it’s much easier to use, install and manage than a clicker system, so not the onerous task that might be expected. Importantly, it also provides modern day functionality students now expect. Yes, there’s some work to be done but Vevox work with customers through a pilot and transition stage to ensure a smooth move across. It’s a well-trodden path, from install right through to details such as converting polling slides from older student response software platforms.


"Vevox have been very supportive of academics such as myself who have introduced their polling app into our teaching. University lecturers are not always the most tech-savvy, but Vevox responded quickly and patiently to all my questions. They have a great product and offer great service: the twain don't always meet, in my experience."

Dr Jonathan Conlin- April 2018

 Contracted periods are often used as pilot and transition periods. Elements of the contracts such as servicing, battery changes, and replacements can be cut out by switching, therefore significantly reducing costs.

With no hardware to buy or maintain as students are using their own devices to interact, the price point will always be lower in catering for a like for like number of lecturers and students with a superior product. The sooner you make the move the sooner you can reap the benefits.

The bottom line… If you are in a contract with any clicker supplier, do contact us and we may be able to help and be more flexible than you might expect.

"I made contact based on recommendations from other universities. They answered all questions including technical and information governance questions very quickly. Everything was set up with useful demo instructions for the PowerPoint Add-in. We are trialing this year and so far everything has been great."

Nicola Avery- September 2018

2. Wi-Fi and connectivity concerns. 

So much has changed here in such a short amount of time. It’s 2018, nearly everything we do is reliant on an internet connection. Wi-Fi and a decent 4G (and increasingly 5G) connections are the norm.

There are some additional benefits to those using and administrating these systems being cloud-based.  Firstly, the data is much more easily, and securely managed across an institution, even with multiple campuses. A far cry from running around with memory sticks! Secondly, institutions can administrate the student response system much more effectively. They have access to enterprise level analytics and user management as well as an MSI installer for a PowerPoint polling add-in installation across the network.

"Vevox makes clickers the analogue polling system of the past. I have experimented using the software with undergraduate Music students with great success. Not only can the software make students more engaged but it can also make lecturers better teachers allowing us to quickly adapt classes based on student understanding levels. Perhaps this will turn the inevitable use of smartphones in classes from a distraction tool to an engagement tool?"

Simeon Scheuber-Rush (June 2018)

3. Accessibility. Will students have, or want to bring their own devices?

YES…This is simply an issue that has gone away for the majority if not all higher educational institutions. The only question left here is whether you want them to… (See point 4). Far from not having a device, students often have more than one device with them that can run the polling and Q&A and they EXPECT to be able to use them. Modern student response systems are built with accessibility in mind. A Web app means Vevox works on any device with a browser whether phone, tablet or laptop. Native Apps from the App stores are also available. Students are therefore using the device with a screen, keyboard and UI that works for them. This set up also means engagement is no longer confined to those in the room with a clicker keypad, remotes attendees can now contribute on an equal footing.

"From an academic’s perspective, Vevox has a shallow learning curve, has no hardware cost (students use their own web-based equipment), can promote active learning within the lecture format and is generally very popular amongst the students. In other words, it makes my job easier. What’s not to like?"

Trevor Kettle - March 2018

Integrations are also now simple and becoming more popular. For example Loughborough University have integrated Vevox within their pre-existing student apps (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/students/mylboro/) which students already use in every lecture for registering attendance, IT info, Course Info and more.

4. Phones are a distraction

The general acceptance now is that there are very few classes where students would not have or need their devices with them. Therefore, the goal now is to ensure that they become a tool for engagement rather than distraction. They represent a huge opportunity that students will really buy into.

The results from a recent survey of Southampton University students below demonstrates the value and appetite for using a polling and Q&A in classes.

Would using Vevox increase the likelihood of you asking a question in class?

92% Voted ‘Yes’ (Sample size 92)

‘Would you like to see Vevox used in more of your classes?

100% voted ‘Yes’ (Sample size 42)

I hope this was helpful and might inspire you to spark up a conversation with us. We’d love to hear from you and understand your situation and requirements. One of the things we love most about working with institutions in offering a cloud-based platform is that we get to listen to users and continuously improve our offering. Feedback from learning technologists, IT managers, lecturers and students drives Vevox forward so that it is not only the right solution now, but it will evolve to meet your future requirements.

If you're wanting to learn more about how other customers have switched from clickers to polling software systems, then download our guide "From Clickers to the Cloud".

Product to bring lectures to life, by a supportive company
"I have used the Vevox system as a university lecturer for two academic years now. The company's product is easy for me to setup, engaging for the students, and brings lectures to life with interactive quizzes and feedback. The company is constantly working on developments to the product. They also offer a number of free webinars and other useful support, both based on their tool and also relevant content more generally."
Scott Sibereis - May 2018