You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Clickers’ category.

Pictofigo_FrustrationThe Turning clicker system is currently a source of irritation to OSU students and faculty alike.

In this column I will consider what the problem is, what solutions are being pursued and what you can do to succeed with your clicker this term.

What are clickers?

In Fall 2015 approximately 12,000 students are using the Turning clicker system in 77 course sections.

The Turning clicker system consists on the student side of a physical remote, ResponseWare iOS and Android apps, a web clicker for browsers at and a licensed Turning Cloud account.

On the instructor’s side is a USB receiver and the TurningPoint software.

What holds all of this together is the Turning License. Think of the license like the data plan for your smartphone. The phone will not work without a data plan and your clicker system will not fully work without a license.

“See the video of Dr. Tech being soaked with ice water in freezing weather as penance for this unfortunate situation.”

In Fall 2015 the Beaver Store began selling the QT remote which replaces and costs the same as last year’s NXT bundle.

Costs to students are contained by not raising them when the tools upgrade.

The updated system works with the NXT so that students who own a clicker from previous years do not need to buy a QT.

Costs to students are contained by designed backwards compatibility thus limiting new required purchases.

What is the problem with the clickers?

The problem with the clickers is that many students are having difficulty registering their system such that their name and the device ID are paired.beaver-46239_640

This problem is due to several factors.

One factor is the transition from Blackboard to Canvas which produced the need to connect accounts to both; the departure of Blackboard from OSU this term will simplify that matter.

Another factor is the existence of three ONID email address for each OSU member:,,

Most of the student registration troubles that I encounter involve a combination of email logins for multiple Turning Cloud accounts.

Add to these factors Turning’s move to a cloud-based system with some design flaws and the variations proliferate faster than fruit-flies in a compost bin.

85% of OSU students in clicker-using courses this Fall are correctly registered so that their names and clicker device IDs are paired in Canvas.

Consequently, 15% of this term’s students – about 2,000 people – are not completely registered as of week three.

Being completely registered means that you have a Turning Cloud account that is linked to Canvas and contains a redeemed license and a valid device ID.

The most important point I have to convey is that the Turning clicker system saves your participation points 100% of the time.

I will not tolerate a system that loses points of students who use it correctly.

Even if you are in a registration snarl, every time you use your clicker and get a check mark symbol, your responses are received and saved.

The TAC plan is to get every student registered and then go course by course, file by file to retrieve and post every participation point for every student.

You have my word on that and if you feel that your participation points are not being properly credited, please come see me and we go after it with a passion.

All of the instructors who use clickers are aware of these facts and co-operate fully in crediting the legitimate participation points of students.

You also have my humble apology for the confusion and irritation related to our clicker system.

To wit, see for the video of me being soaked with ice water in freezing weather as penance for this unfortunate situation.

What is being done to fix this problem?

I take responsibility for leading us to a clicker registration solution for future terms.

I am working with Turning and Canvas to guide development of a direct and logical integration between the two nxt_qtthat supports a three-step registration process such as is common to many web applications.

The critical objective is to eliminate false-positives so that students do not believe that they are correctly registered when they actually have incomplete accounts.

Basically I plan to banish incomplete clicker accounts to the bowels of hades so that students get one of two outcomes: “that worked, congratulations” or “that did not work, go get help.”

Verily I say unto you, this strategy will result in a 98% successful registration rate before the end of week two in a term.

Moreover I am seeking to normalize clicker ownership so that incoming students receive their fully registered clicker bundle at START in the Summer.

I’d like to add unicorns and rainbows to this plan, but for the coming academic year a completely reliable and hassle-free clicker registration system will suffice.

What can I do to solve my clicker issues now?

Visit the TAC Clicker Registration Station in the lobby outside of LINC100 from 10-2 M-F.

Many students have more than one Turning account – often one linked to Blackboard and another to Canvas.

I suggest that you check each of the ONID email addresses –,, – at the Turning Account login; go through Canvas to find it.

Use the password retrieval to see if the account for that login exists and to determine whether you have a stealth account.

If you do have multiple accounts, check to see which one has a redeemed license and whether it is linked to Blackboard or Canvas.

Often the solution is to link Canvas to the licensed account by selecting the Turning link in Canvas and logging into Turning.

If you reset your password the Canvas link is broken but you only need connect from within Canvas again and login to restore it.

In the Dashboard “” shows a Canvas connection.

In the Dashboard “” shows a Blackboard connection.

If you are in any doubt, come see us at the Clicker Registration Station in the lobby outside of LINC100 from 10-2 M-F or write to

My clicker crew colleagues and I agree that OSU students are among the most patient and civil people on the planet.

In tribute to your excellence we are holding a raffle with Turning Technologies support.

Love for money

Prizes are Beaver Store gift certificates in denominations of ten $10, five $25, two $50, and one $100.

Winners will be drawn from all OSU students with fully registered Turning clicker accounts and announced in a future Dr. Tech column.

Please come to TAC’s Clicker Station in the LINC first floor lobby M-F 10-2 for assistance and write to me with your thoughts on clickers and anything at all:


turning_nxtSeniors, Juniors, Sophomores.  Lend me your ears!

Let’s start with the base facts.

-Everyone needs a four year license to use the Turning NXT clicker at OSU.

-If you registered an NXT clicker prior to Fall 2015, I sent a new license to you by email in September 2014.

-If your license code is no longer valid or if do not find the email with that license, come to TAC in S15 to get it renewed.

-Used clickers do not come with a license code; you may purchase a four year license code.

-You must connect Canvas to your Turning clicker account.

-For all help with clickers write to

-Come to TAC in 317 Waldo M-F 10-4 for hands-on help.

Now for questions and answers.

Dr. Tech: I bought a clicker two years ago and have not used it this year until Spring term. I got a license code in my email but when I tried to apply it to my Turning account it is apparently invalid. What do I do?

Please come see me right away in 317 Waldo M-F 10-4 because I have a new license reserved for you.

In Fall 2015 we upgraded the Turning clicker system to support ResponseWare which uses a license to manage the NXT clicker in combination with your mobile devices.

I acquired and sent by email 16,000 licenses to students who already had an NXT clicker registered in Blackboard.

About 6,500 students redeemed those licenses in order to continue to use their clicker at no additional cost, which was the purpose.

Those no-cost upgrade licenses were redeemable through the end of the Winter 2015 term and are no longer usable.

Your colleagues at TAC went to bat for you once more and have acquired enough licenses to equip students who had registered an NXT clicker in Blackboard prior to F15.

Please get the license reserved for you now, even if you are not using your clicker this term, because these expire at the end of Spring 2015.

Dr. Tech: My sister graduated last year and gave me her clicker. Can I use it in my classes this term?

Yes, you can use a used NXT clicker so long as you acquire – i.e. purchase – a license.

The OSU rate for a four year license is significantly lower than the standard market cost, so come to TAC and we will help you get the correct license.

New students purchase the NXT and four year license at the Beaver Store.

Dr. Tech: Can I just buy a license code to use my phone without buying a clicker? I don’t mind using clickers but why do we have to have licenses and buy a clicker when I just want to use my phone?

Please do not buy a Turning license without an NXT clicker because, of the approximately 100 course sections using clickers this term, most have not enabled ResponseWare, which means that your investment will be usefulness.

The OSU clicker system is hybrid by design – physical clicker plus mobile options – and I am open to explaining that strategy to students, faculty and anyone.

That strategy works at a very large scale and save students money over all.

Dr. Tech: Is the whole license and clicker thing just another way to get more money out of students?

No, the OSU interactive classroom strategy, including clickers, is designed to help instructors to teach and students to learn.

OSU does not profit from clicker sales, rather Information Services invests in supporting students and faculty’s using the system.

Managing the clicker system is my responsibility and maintaining that system within a reasonable cost to students is a primary objective in my strategy.

The major threat to student expenses from clicker systems is the potential of the proliferation of multiple response systems (clickers) being required for various courses.

At OSU about 170 instructors use Turning clickers in about 100 course sections each term with about 12,000 student users per term and 20,000 clicker users overall.

There are more than 30 response system products on the market so that if individual instructors selected separate products, students would end up purchasing multiple clicker systems resulting in much higher costs than you presently bear.

The Turning system averages out to about $15 per year for a student over four years.

I am not saying that cost is insignificant but I am asserting that it is a far lower cost to students than multiple clicker system environment would require.

I take this responsibility seriously and accept the full weight of the consequences, so please feel welcome to share your concerns and ideas with me about clickers at any time.

Moreover, if you are ever uncertain about your clicker bundle or have any issue regarding it, please come to me for consultation.

I will listen seriously and if I can help, take action to benefit you.

For all help with clickers write to


immersive_environments…augmented_reality…virtual worlds…robots…full_VR…games…social_media…community…genius

The Immersive Learning Research Network (ILRN) conference 2014 at Oregon’s State University (Corvallis, OR) in person, webcast, and Second Life – November 20, 21, 22, 2014.   Sponsored by The ILRNTechnology Across the Curriculum (TAC), Oregon State University, and the Applied Research in immersive Environments for Learning Special Interest Group (ARiEL SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Attendance (free)

Conference Schedule

Live Web Cast

Second Life – Beaver Island

Everyone is encouraged to join ILRN for free before January 1, 2015 when membership application fees may apply. See for information on joining the Network.

The theme for the ILRN Corvallis, Oregon 2014 Meetup is “Immersed in the Future, Together: Scholarship, Experience, and Community”. The iLRN Oregon Meetup Committee will give preference to those proposals of Immersive Learning presentations that feature:

  • Attempts to substantively bridge multiple kinds of expertise to generate a sense of “immersion” (e.g. psychology, pedagogy, architecture, computer science, etc)
  • Sharing resources and visions for Immersive Learning researchers and practitioners to use in developing a common future
  • Sharing technical expertise on creation of Immersive Learning experiences that is not readily available for free elsewhere
  • Featuring design or evidence based reasoning for learning within the design of an immersive experience
  • Explicitly develops capacity within immersive learning experiences to form community OR focuses on the community that forms as a result of efforts to create immersive learning experiences
  • Providing Open Educational Resources or open source possibilities for developing Immersive Learning to everyone – to encourage community and sharing
  • Articulating conceptual frameworks or definitions for specific kinds of Immersive Learning expertise that may be of possible benefit or use by others

Please join us


Jon Louis Dorbolo, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC)
317 Waldo Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Voice: 541.737.3811
Fax: 541.737.7967
SMS: 541.915.0260
Skype: jondorbolo
Chiron Mirror
slurl: Beaver Island


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