What do I need to do to be able to use

Just send Chuck Downing an email indicating the class (and sections) you want to use it in. 

If you want to use it for BELIEF, also send Pam Smith an email indicating the day/time you want to use it (the only restriction on BELIEF is that two instructors cannot use the system at the exact same time).


What if I change my mind, don’t use it much or at all?  Will that screw something up?

Nope.  Won’t hurt a thing.  The system is very flexible. 

The only minor harm will be the length of the list of classes students have to select from.  So if you KNOW you’re not using it, let Chuck Downing know so he can delete your course from the list.


How does the system know who is in my class?  Their znumbers, etc.?

It doesn’t. uses NIU-central LDAP, which in English is their main NIU login.  The one they use for labs, everything.  You do not have to manage logins or passwords or anything.

At the end of the session you’ll get a list of znumbers and points (number of questions answered correctly for that session).  You use that however you like.  Most will copy/paste into Excel and then upload to BlackBoard.


If anyone can login, won’t this cause chaos?

No.  While someone who is not in your class (but has an NIU login) could sit in your class and participate in your session, who cares, right?  Doesn’t hurt anything.

Chaos is prevented because students have to select their class when they login.  If they select the wrong class, they will receive an “Instructor has not started the session yet” message.  So if you HAVE started your session and a student screams that he/she is getting this message, you tell him/her “You must have selected the wrong class.  Go back to and login again.”


The video wasn’t very clear on how to get my data into Excel… How does that happen again?

When you are done with your class session, you will hit the red button at the bottom of the browser screen.  You will then get a dump of every student (znumber) and every question.  To get one znumber per student, with total points (number of questions answered correctly for that session), put a "2" after the "r" in "Instructor" in the browser URL (then hit enter).  Then put your cursor in the data (browser screen), hit "ctrl-a" (select all), "ctrl-c" (copy), get into Excel, the hit "ctrl-v" (paste).  You now have an Excel file with znumbers and points for that day’s session.  Save it.


This process is also shown on the “ Retrieve Old Sessions” video.


What instructions should I give to my students?

There are two fundamental rules to remember when using to make the experience pleasant and productive for you and your professor:

1.    Never hit the “Back” button while using

2.    If something goes wrong (power failure, crash, etc.), simply start at the beginning (go back to, login, pick class).  You will re-join your class in progress and your previous answers will be saved.


Additionally, do not hit the red button (at the bottom) until your professor has indicated that class is over.  Then hit the red button if you want to view your complete Answer Report for that day.  If you do not hit the red button at all (or leave class early, etc.) your answers will still be saved.


What is the suggested syllabus language?

Our class will be using the web-app as a student response/clicker system this semester.  There is no charge to you for this app this semester, saving you between $18.80 and $73.35 depending on which clicker option you would have selected.  You are required to bring a web-enabled device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) to class each session so you can respond to instructor questions via this app.  If you do not have a web-enabled device, please contact the instructor immediately. 

Note:  To obtain participation points using, you are expected to be IN CLASS.  This web app is accessible from anywhere, but please avoid the temptation to login while not physically present in the class.  If you are caught doing so, your first offense will result in a 20-point semester deduction from your Participation grade (Example:  You were set to receive a 96% in Participation for the semester, but in this case you would receive a 76%), your second offense will result in you receiving a 0% for Participation for the entire semester, and your third offense will result in you receiving a failing grade (“F”) for the course.


Does it matter what browser I use?

I’m pretty sure the answer is “No”, although I have not tested every browser.  Very old versions of browsers would probably cause issues.  I use Google Chrome.


As the instructor, can I screw something up on my end?

Yes, definitely.  I’ve worked hard to “lock down” the student side of the system, since they will do all sorts of things.  However, I have NOT locked down the instructor side.  I’m relying on consistent behavior from the instructors.  In particular, you need to maintain the following order when using

1.       Start question (happens automatically for Question 1).

2.       Click “Display Student Answers” as many times as you want until you feel everyone has had a chance to answer.

3.       Click “Close Question”.  This prevents further student answers from being recorded, as well as students changing answers.

4.       View and optionally discuss student answer choices.

5.       Choose one or more correct answer, and click “Submit Answers”.

6.       Click “Next Question” if you have more questions.  Otherwise click the red button at the bottom to close the session.


If you have followed those six steps, student work will be saved if something odd happens (time out, power outage, etc.).  If something does happen, re-start and enter your original (you must remember the name) session name while choosing “Continue session”.