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i>clicker Software To Add Demographic Polling and Data Slicing

An upcoming version of the software behind a popular classroom response system will be able to uncover demographic information along with polling results. Macmillan's new ventures group said that version 6.0 of i>clicker offers new demographic polling and data-filtering options.

The idea behind the additional functionality is to allow an instructor to capture responses filtered by data such as gender, race, or political affiliation. That in turn can help expose students within the class to viewpoints that differ from their own.

"A large percentage of my students are from affluent areas and many have a fairly narrow view of the world," said Tim Loving, associate professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. "This software will allow them to think more seriously about their peers' differing perspectives, particularly when broken down by gender and as they relate to socioeconomic status."

Angela Nickoli, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice/Criminology at Ball State University in Muncie, IN said she expects the new software to help her go beyond yes/no answers in student response. "By giving me the opportunity to slice the demographic data, I can delve into more complicated issues, facilitating a deeper, more personal discussion," she said.

The software is in beta testing currently and is expected to be released in the fall, which is the same timeframe set by the company for release of i>clicker2, an updated version of its student response device.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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