Using Electronic Polling and Tech-Free Polling for Peer Instruction (including iClicker)

Explore the toggles below to learn about the best practices for implementing polling in your course, as well as guides for setting up iClicker, and information on various polling technologies.

How to set-up iClicker at UCLA

Setting up iClicker

CEILS Guide to Setting Up iClicker – Updated Jan 2017

CCLE instructions for adding an iclicker block to your course site

For assistance contact our iClicker representatives:

Kristin Strong:

What is peer instruction and how does it work?

In the following video, Harvard Physics Professor Eric Mazur shares the story of the moment he realized his outstanding teaching reviews were not actually resulting in the student learning outcomes he believed he was achieving – a harsh wake-up call that led him to discover the teaching strategy he named “peer instruction”. Peer instruction refers to the practice of students learning through discussion with peers, and it is one of the most research-validated forms of active learning.

Using electronic polling for peer instruction - best practices

Using electronic polling for peer instruction – best practices:

This video showcases some of the best practices and researched education theory for implementing clickers in the classroom.


Clicker Resource Guide

The Gentle Art of Questioning – Writing Great Clicker Questions

Thought Questions- A New Approach to Using Clickers Teresa Foley & Pei-San Tsai

Flow Chart for Clicker Use (from Vickrey et al. 2015)

Want even more information? The Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative has a great collection of clicker resources.

Electronic polling applications for smart phones and other devices

Interested in alternative polling tools to i>clicker?

There are several free or low-cost polling tools for your smart phone or other electronic device. Note that some UCLA faculty have reported experiencing wi-fi issues when trying to use these online polling applications (i>clicker uses radio frequency rather than a wi-fi signal and thus bypasses this issue). That being said, if you opt to try an alternative polling system, please test the online application prior to use in a specific classroom, especially if implementing the technology in a large class.  Note that we also suggest using these online polling tools at workshops and conferences — they provide an excellent way to make your seminar talks interactive!

Here are some polling tool alternatives to i>clicker:

Tech-Free voting cards for student polling


We recommend using iClicker software if possible in order to not only view student responses, but also to be able to analyze the results of your polling by individual student or the class as a whole and award participation points.

However, if you would prefer a non-technology option or want to provide non-technology options to your TAs for their discussion sections, you can use these voting cards. Either print them for students or ask students to print (in color!) and bring one to all classes.

These cards can be folded and held up during class as you ask multiple choice questions.