Making It Click

Through Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Technology for Students Fund, Aggies can provide lecture-enhancing resources to students free of charge.

    By Lydia Hill ’21
  • Illustration by The Heads of State
  • May. 16, 2022
    3 min read

From textbooks and laptops to online access codes, the extra materials required for a college education seem to continually multiply. As the list lengthens and costs rise, these resources create an increasingly hefty price tag students often scramble to cover. Dr. Melanie Moser, chair and instructional professor in Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Department of Foundational Sciences, is doing her part to change that.

To help her organic chemistry students, Moser contributed $1,000 to start the Technology for Students Fund to provide free access to the iClicker polling technology she and other professors use in their classrooms. Currently, the fund helps the Galveston Campus purchase 1,500 licenses at a discounted rate of $5 each for every student enrolled in classes requiring iClickers, saving Aggies by the Sea from purchasing an annual account themselves at the $25 student rate.

Produced by Macmillan Learning, iClickers allow instructors to poll their classes during lectures through an app on students’ phones or tablets. The technology can also serve as a study tool for students, and professors like Moser can include questions directly in their PowerPoints to track attendance, award participation points and adapt lectures as needed to ensure students are learning.

It enables me to see if students understand what we just discussed. I’ll ask a question, and if nobody gets it right, I’ll explain it again in a different way and ask another question to confirm they have a good grasp on the concept.”
- Dr. Melanie Moser

Moser first incorporated the technology using a predecessor to the iClicker. As polling software became more user-friendly, she began to tell her colleagues about it, especially after seeing how it eased her transition to online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wanted to encourage other faculty members to use it, but it became increasingly clear to me that it’s hard for students to pay for their license,” she explained. “Somewhere along the way, it occurred to me, ‘Why don’t we just pay for it?’” Many physics, chemistry and engineering faculty use iClickers, but Moser hopes the fund encourages Galveston professors from various subjects to include the technology in their own classrooms without adding extra fees for students.

In the future, Moser wishes the fund will grow enough to assist students with additional technology expenses, like purchasing other software licenses or laptops. “As the cost of education rises, it’s so important that we do everything we can to help students,” Moser said. “The fund is making a difference already, and I hope others will donate annually like me to continue making these resources more affordable.” 

Make a Donation: Passionate about reducing extra educational costs for students? Through a $25 donation, you can help Texas A&M-Galveston provide free iClickers for five Aggies by the Sea. Give online at give.am/iClicker.