Learning technology

Student response systems 

Student Response Systems, commonly referred to as clickers, encourage active learning in large classrooms, but can also be effective for stimulating small-group discussion. They allow students to provide immediate feedback to questions by means of wireless electronic devices. The results can be tabulated and displayed.

Student response systems enable faculty to:

  • Create a comfortable environment in which all students can participate
  • Increase student interaction, especially in large lecture halls
  • Determine if students are understanding the material

Student response systems enable students to:

  • Feel comfortable about answering questions in large classes because their responses are anonymous to other students
  • Collaborate to form a response
  • Compare their level of understanding with that of their peers
  • Explore concepts in a fun and interactive way

Currently, the three student response systems most commonly used by SFU instructors are:

  • iClicker
  • Top Hat Monocle
  • Poll Everywhere


Website: www.iclicker.com

To get started: Contact Christina Drabik (cdrabik@sfu.ca) for an orientation and to receive a free base unit and instructor remote. Software can be downloaded at SFU’s iClicker website.

Integration with SFU Canvas

You can choose to use Canvas Integration to manually download the roster from Canvas to iclicker software and for students to register their devices in Canvas. You can set up the integration with the following instructions:

or by contacting Christina Drabik (cdrabik@sfu.ca) for assistance.

iClicker classic integration with Canvas

Full integration is currently not available with iClicker 7. However, it is possible to download your gradebook from Canvas and reformat it to create the roster file. For further information, please contact Christina Drabik (cdrabik@sfu.ca).

iClicker classic without Canvas Integration

If instructors choose not to use Canvas Integration, students can register their hardware clickers directly on www.iclicker.com in keeping with the FIPPA compliance protocol outlined at the bottom of this page. Instructors will need to manually upload and download rosters to and from Canvas. Please see instructions on How to sync rosters manually. (Also available: How to sync rosters using Windows.)

Mobile polling

Mobile polling is available through the REEF polling app. It is available for iOS and Android devices and is subject to the instructor permitting the use of mobile devices as a medium for submitting votes. REEF can only be used with iClicker classic. REEF is not FIPPA compliant, and consent forms are mandatory.

How do Students purchase a handheld device?

Students can purchase a handheld device directly from the SFU Bookstore.  Alternatively, used devices can be employed. Used devices are subject to a US$6.99 fee when they are registered through www.iclicker.com.

Top Hat Monocle

Website: www.tophat.com

Getting started: Top Hat is a mobile-only solution. Be aware that wireless connectivity in classrooms can fluctuate depending on device and usage load. It is highly recommended that you ensure that your teaching environment is equipped with adequate wireless connections. Please contact Kar-On Lee (cal2@sfu.ca) with your classroom location and registration capacity to verify.  

Canvas integration

Canvas Integration is available and no consent form is required because Top Hat and SFU have signed a privacy schedule. For more information, please contact Christina Drabik (cdrabik@sfu.ca).

Poll Everywhere

Website: www.polleverywhere.com

Departmental account (Beedie only)

Beedie School of Business instructors may contact Kar-On Lee at uglms@sfu.ca if they are interested in using Poll Everywhere in their classes. The departmental account enables students to use it with extra fees.

Canvas integration

Canvas integration is available, but a consent form is required. For more information, please contact Christina Drabik (cdrabik@sfu.ca).

Instructor protocol for FIPPA compliance

Instructors are required to follow the protocol outlined below to comply with B.C’s FIPPA privacy legislation and must take reasonable security measures to protect private data on their devices.

Required procedures for FIPPA compliance when using iclickers

  • Provide your students with the FIPPA compliance boiler plate statement (see below).
  • Password-protect your devices (e.g., laptop computers, tablets, mobile devices) and the data on them (e.g., with file-level passwords, encryption, etc.) to meet the requirement of taking reasonable security measures to protect student data.
    Note: This is true for all student data on your devices, whether or not it is obtained using a classroom response system.
  • If a student has a serious, principled objection to registering his/her student response system on an external server, the instructor has the discretion to offer an alternative process to the student.  Students must, however, give adequate notice and reason for their objection.

Boiler plate statement

“If the course requires the use of iClickers to collect in-class responses from students, the easiest way for most students to register their iClickers is via the iClicker website at www.iclicker.com. All response data is stored locally on the instructor’s equipment, but until iClicker and SFU sign a privacy schedule, consent forms will be required. Registration with the iClicker website is a transaction between the student and iClicker. Please use your SFU computing ID (e.g., doej for someone with e-mail doej@sfu.ca) to identify yourself. Do not use the student number. Any student with a concern about using the iClicker registration service must inform the instructor in ample time to make other arrangements for registering the student’s iClicker.”

January 12, 2018