Using "clickers" in the classroom

  • Faculty & Staff

Special Notes

  • We have fully adopted Poll Everywhere, and we no longer use TurningPoint
  • Contact us at for further information.
  • Canvas integration has been discontinued. To participate in a very limited pilot of a work-around, please contact

What are audience response systems?

These are hardware and/or software solutions for allowing students to respond to questions posed by the instructor.  Depending on the system, instructors have the option to display a histogram of the responses, track who has voted, and track each person's response.


Why do teachers use them? 

Teachers use these systems to

  • informally assess students' knowledge of a topic before lecturing
  • to see whether students understand a point after it has been explained
  • to ask a content question, then have students "think-pair-share"
  • ask survey or opinion questions to discuss in class
  • ask questions where either the correct answer or just participation is required to earn points

Please note that Canvas integration of results is being tested as a very limited pilot during the Fall 2023 semester. It will require downloading the results from PollEverywhere and posting them to a location we provide. When you contact us, we'll walk you through the process.

If you would like to have participation or grades returned to Canvas in Fall 2023, please contact us at before making your plans for the semester.


What system is available at Penn?

We have standardized on PollEverywhere:

  • PollEverywhere
    Students respond via text message or on a website by using a phone, tablet or laptop, and instructors use software that we have licensed for this year. Students do NOT need to buy a license or special device.  This is best for un-registered anonymous polls, where you don't track whether a person votes, but the system is very easy to set up and use.
    Learn more ...

    Request a PollEverywhere Account


Last reviewed August 19, 2023