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HKBU Scholars Develop Instant Classroom Response System Using Mobile Phones

Professor Joseph Ng, Department of Computer Science and three other scholars in HKBU recently developed a low-cost instant response system using mobile phones (not necessarily smartphones) to enhance students’ engagement in active learning and to sustain a vibrant learning environment in large classes, where interaction between students and the instructor is usually limited or where students tend to be passive in responding to avoid embarrassment.

The "iQlickers™" system enables students to use their own mobile phones to send an SMS to answer questions in the form of quizzes or opinion polls without drawing attention to themselves in class. As sending text messages within the same mobile phone network is free of charge, by providing the phone numbers of the five major network providers in Hong Kong, students do not have to pay for sending text messages to numbers of their corresponding network providers when they use iQlickers™ to give in-class responses.

The system will carry out real-time analysis and display the statistics of the responses in a short time. Students’ responses are represented in bar charts which allow the instructor to gauge how far the students understand the course content and to determine whether further explanation is required, thus enhancing class interaction.

Technical advisor to the project, Professor Joseph Ng, said, "Unlike the existing clicker systems available in the market, iQlickers™ requires no hardware installation or Wi-Fi connectivity. Maintenance cost is thus minimal. Students can use their own mobile phones to respond. In this way, their phones become handy teaching and learning tools during lectures, stimulating discussions and enhancing the momentum of learning."

The research team members have tested the system in their own classes and are inviting instructors from other Departments and Centres at the University to try the system with their students. The system can also be integrated with the current eLearning platform (Moodle) widely used by HKBU professors and students.

The Education Bureau is also supportive towards the possible usage of iQlickers™ in secondary schools. The response from secondary school teachers has been positive.

The Knowledge Transfer Office is guiding the team in securing trademark rights to iQlickers™. For more details on the system, please visit

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Department of Computer Science, Hong Kong Baptist University
Hong Kong Baptist University