SOURCE: iclicker

September 14, 2009 07:00 ET

iclicker Announces Interactive Distance Learning With New Satellite Polling System

iclicker Trial at University of British Columbia's Distributed Undergraduate Medical Program Engages Students Regardless of Geographic Restrictions

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 14, 2009) - Imagine being a student 500 miles away, or even an hour and a half ferry ride, from your university's main campus, but still able to participate and collaborate with your professors and fellow students. iclicker, a leader in student response systems, bridged the "participation gap" when it completed a successful trial of interactive distance learning using its new Satellite Polling System (SPS) at University of British Columbia's (UBC) Distributed Undergraduate Medical Program.

iclicker's new Satellite Polling System is an interactive distance learning tool that enables instructors to poll students from multiple classrooms -- or in this case, campuses. The instructor simply enables a setting in his or her iclicker software at the "host" location that allows the software to communicate with iclicker hardware in "satellite" locations. SPS allows students to connect with each other and their instructor regardless of their geographic location and enables the instructor at the host site to gather and display results immediately from all locations. SPS is in active classroom testing now and will be widely available for January 2010 courses.

With three distributed campuses delivering the same program -- Island Medical Program at the University of Victoria, Northern Medical Program at University of Northern British Columbia, and Fraser Medical Program at UBC, Vancouver -- UBC's Distributed Undergraduate Medical Program gave the new SPS system a rigorous trial. A total of 256 students and a number of professors participated. Following this summer's successful student-based research study, UBC plans to expand use of SPS in both 1st and 2nd year curriculum for the 2009-2010 academic year.

"In the UBC Distributed Undergraduate Medical Program, large portions of the lectures are given from our main campus in Vancouver. Although our satellite students can see and hear the lecture, they often do not have the benefit of interacting with the professor or fellow students when the lecturer is physically at a different site," said Kathy Gaul, PhD Associate Professor, Foundations of Medicine, Island Medical Program, University of Victoria. "SPS allows students another way of learning and gives them instant feedback as to where they are in terms of their understanding. And, as all students are answering the same 'clicker' questions, faculty can now take the pulse of the students in real time and assess immediately whether the students at all sites have grasped the concepts. We were thrilled to be the first university to test iclicker's SPS across different geographic lecture theatres. This new tool has the potential to enhance learning, no matter the limits of geographic location."

The launch of SPS in January 2010 will complement a collection of services that iclicker currently offers to allow all students to take advantage of the iclicker experience no matter where they are:

--  iclicker Integrate: Free to iclicker adopters, this course management
    suite allows for one-click integration of iclicker voting and registration
    data with the campus Course Management System (CMS).
--  On-Campus Registration and Local Web Services: These scripts and tools
    allow schools to host all student registration iclicker data on their
--  Software Development Kit: The iclicker API and supporting
    documentation allow developers to integrate iclicker into their own web and
    software applications.

Students can use the standard iclicker remotes with SPS. Instructors use the standard iclicker receiver, which is available according to our instructor's kit policies. The SPS functionality is included free within the iclicker software. For further information, please visit

About The University of British Columbia:

The University of British Columbia is the third largest in Canada, consistently ranks among the top 40 in the world and is Canada's leading research-intensive university ($475 million for 7,074 projects). The Faculty of Medicine, founded in 1950, provides innovative educational and research programs in the areas of health and life sciences with twelve different programs. The Faculty is renowned internationally for its technology-driven distributed medical program working in partnership with the University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia.

About iclicker:

iclicker is one of the most widely used classroom response systems in higher education, adopted at more than 700 educational institutions in North America and used by almost 1 million students. Invented in 2003 by four University of Illinois professors, iclicker's current design was made available for adoption in 2006 and continues to be recognized for its superior reliability, intuitive software, and focus on formative assessment and pedagogy. Together with a team of faculty advisors and reviewers, Inventors Tim Stelzer and Mats Selen continue to play lead roles in product development -- with a focus on ease-of-use and pedagogical research. iclicker is a division of Macmillan, a global publishing company with a long history in education. For more information, visit

About Macmillan:

Macmillan is a global publisher of books, magazines, textbooks, scientific information, and digital content and services. In the US, the group includes Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Henry Holt; St. Martin's Press; Tor Books; Picador; Macmillan Audio; Bedford St. Martin's; W.H. Freeman; Worth Publishers; iclicker; and Scientific American Magazine. Macmillan is a subsidiary of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, GMbH, a global media company based in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information, visit

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