Student Response System - How to Use iClickers (for Instructors)


Using iClicker in large classes increases student attendance and interaction. 

iClicker is one of two real-time student response systems at Virginia Tech. The other is Top Hat


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Comparison of Student Response System (iClicker) / Active Learning Platform (Top Hat)

Feature iClicker Cloud iClicker Classic Top Hat
Instructors present slides in the app  
Instructors can quiz students
Students must purchase remotes    
Students can use mobile devices  
Data stored in the cloud  
Auto-syncs with Canvas (others sync manually)  
Instructors can take attendance based on student device location/GPS  

iClicker Options

iClicker has two hardware and two software options. We recommend using iClicker Cloud software and student mobile devices.

Instructor Software

Student Response Method

iClicker Cloud  Mobile Devices  Remotes Both
iClicker Classic  Mobile Devices Remotes Both

iClicker Hardware Options

Instructors can collect student response data two ways:

Students Use Mobile Devices

No special hardware instructor hardware needed! 

Students Use Remotes

Instructor base station and student remotes needed!

iClicker base stations

We encourage instructors and students to move to iClicker Cloud, because they don't need to purchase any additional hardware. iClicker Cloud integrates with Canvas, has GPS-based attendance, supports more question types, and automatically backs up grades on the cloud. 

iClicker Software Options 

iClicker software has two versions, both of which support student responses with remotes, mobile devices, or both.

iClicker Cloud

We recommend iClicker Cloud, because only it has: 

iClicker Cloud replaced the iClicker Reef instructor app. 

iClicker Classic

iClicker Classic runs on an instructor computer or USB drive: 



iClicker Cloud 

iClicker Classic

Download software from iClicker  
Download software from Virginia Tech  
Uses base station & student remotes
Uses iClicker online account & student mobile app
Backs up data on the cloud  
Data stored locally   
Upload grades to Canvas after each session  
Sync grades to Canvas automatically 
Detects student location for taking attendance  
Question type: Multiple choice 
Question type: Short answer
Question type: Numeric 
Question type: Target  

System Requirements

Make sure your computer meets the System Requirements from iClicker Support.


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Getting Started

Decide on an iClicker Hardware Option 

Notify the Virginia Tech Bookstore 

Notify the Virginia Tech Bookstore that you intend to use iClicker remotes in your course. Include:

Inform your department administrator responsible for book orders or notify the bookstore directly: 

Have Students Register Devices

Direct students to Student Response System - How to Use iClickers (for Students) for instructions. 

Online Polling & Student Mobile Devices


Base Station Polling & Student Remotes


Activate the iClicker student registration tool in Canvas:

  1. Go to the Canvas site for the course where you want to use iClickers.
  2. Click Settings on the left-hand navigation menu to go to the site's settings.
  3. Click the Navigation tab.
  4. Drag iClicker registration from the section titled Drag items here to hide them from students up to the section titled Drag and drop items to reorder them in the course navigation.
  5. Click Save.

Detailed directions from Canvas Guides


Decide on a Software Option

For instructions, go to:

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Getting Help

MacMillan Learning supports iClicker usage and syncing: 

Canvas supports Canvas Grades: 

For other questions: 

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