Virtual ARS/Clickers (TurningPoint)

TurningPoint software provides a virtual Q&A interaction between students and tutor, in which students respond using their own device (whether it be laptop, iPad, phone etc.).

A tutor poses a question on their screen (this can be through PowerPoint or on any open webpage etc.), the students respond by selecting an option or typing a response into their device, and then these responses are collated and displayed by the software.

Examples

The presenter would show this on their screen:

Example of teachers true or false question

The student would see this on their device:

Students TurningPoint Screen

The presenter can then display the results:

Screen example of TurningPoint results

TurningPoint can be used in a few ways:

  • As a simple PowerPoint integration which displays as a toolbar in PowerPoint. This allows you to add a slide with a question into your presentation.
  • As a Poll Anywhere option. This means that a floating toolbar will come up on any screen that is displayed and you can then enter a question there.

The software has the capability to generate reports of data received, and polls can be saved and re-used to compare data over time (for different cohorts and responses).
The software requires internet access for real-time responses and results. Federation University Australia currently has 100 TurningPoint licences.

Pedagogy

  • Promotes a more dynamic and interactive lecture
  • Whole class, small groups, teams (individual and group responses)
  • Allows for anonymous responses
  • Encourages communication and responses from ALL students
  • Just-in-time/ contingency teaching
  • At a deeper level… opinion-based questions, peer instruction, concept questions

Advantages

  • Instant, anonymous feedback for both tutor and students- easy for both to gauge learning, thinking, understanding
  • Enhances learning, providing platform for real-time assessment
  • Students voice opinion without embarrassment
  • Engaging, active learning, fun, easy to learn and use
  • Interactive two-way communication
  • Encourage critical thinking, meta-cognition, highlights misconceptions
  • Improves attention levels

Keys to success

As with the implementation of any new technology, some issues may arise with the use of TurningPoint software. Some students may experience technological issues with their device or not have a device. You may also find that you have too many students for the available licenses. This can usually be overcome by having the student pair up or join a group as it is rare that the data will be hugely impacted by a singular response. It also encourages teamwork.

You may find that if the questions are spaced out throughout a lesson, that students' phones or devices may lose connectivity to the website. This is best combated by having the website and session ID written and readily available for students to re-join the session and allowing an extra minute for login.
It may be difficult to evaluate responses in class, but as TurningPoint allows you to save data, this can always be revisited later. The collection of meaningful information will also be improved by ensuring the questions are effective and conducive to the content you are teaching.

If you are concerned about the time it may take to learn this new program, please do not hesitate to contact the CLIPP team as they can guide you through it and organise a staff/faculty/one-to-one PD session.

Possible uses

  • Think – pair – share or group work: e.g. Poll students' individual responses, have them pair up (or get into groups) and discuss their reasoning. Re-take the poll with one response for the group. Discuss changes to data.
  • Student confidence level: e.g. Pose the question How well are you able to identify the different systems within the human body? A. Very confident, B. Confident, C. Not confident, or D. What's a human body? and allow students to make and share a judgement on their knowledge.
  • Material review: e.g. This can simply be at the beginning of a lesson to check who completed the previous week's reading, activities etc.
  • Gauge comprehension: e.g. Provide questions throughout the lesson to test how much students are understanding.
  • Exploration of opinions
  • Predict outcome of practical experiment / demonstration
  • Live action data / survey data: e.g. May be as simple as How many times a week do you eat fast food? A. 0-1, B. 2-3, C. 4+
  • Anonymous response to questions: e.g. Some students may not be confident / comfortable enough to express a response out loud, but this software allows them to share anonymously
  • Generate discussion
  • Instant feedback: e.g. Allows student and tutor/lecturer to provide and receive immediate responses and feedback, whether it be the discovery of a correct response, difference in opinions, students understanding or misconceptions etc.
  • Pre- and post- questions: e.g. Pose a question at the beginning of a lesson and again at the end of a lesson to gauge student progress / comprehension.
  • Competition: e.g. It can be used as a quiz where students can compete against one another.
  • Branching (as a result of low comprehension, common misconceptions etc.): e.g. the response to questions can be directed to different areas (i.e. If 80% of students are correct, then go to X, but if 80% of students are incorrect, go to Y).
  • Check whether prior learning tasks have been undertaken: e.g. I read the suggested journal articles for this week. A. True, B. False

Steps for using TurningPoint

  1. Get account set up*
    In order to have a TurningPoint account created, you need to email Catherine Duncan or Karalee Dwyer from CLIPP with the following information:
    • Your full name
    • Subject(s) you wish to use the software for
    • Approximate number of students in subject(s)
    • Day and time of session you may want to use it in (due to licensing limitations)
  2. Install TurningPoint 5 software
    After your account has been created, you will receive an email containing the link to download the TurningPoint software.
  3. Create questions using the PowerPoint integration or create question banks for Poll Anywhere option.
    Questions can be imported into an existing PowerPoint or developed into a new PPT.
  4. Run poll in class (*from TP software which will require internet access for tutor and students)
  5. Save/ review reports

*Please note: your account setup may take 2 business days

Instructional resources