TurningPoint: Getting Started

For help with Training and Support:
Contact the OIT Service Desk

Follow these steps:

STEP 1: Notify OIT of your intention to use the SRS at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester. You will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment to familiarize you with the technology (both software and hardware).  If several people from your department are interested in signing up together, we can schedule a department-wide introduction to the Student Response System and tailor it to the group's needs.

STEP 2: Download the TurningPoint software and install it on your personal or office computer. This is the software you will use to author interactive question slides within Microsoft PowerPoint. Be sure to download TurningPoint 5, Version 5.3.1. This is the version of the software that is installed in the classroom.

STEP 3: Sign out a free "instructor kit" from the OIT Service Desk located on the 3rd floor of WUSOC (HDL). The instructor kit includes a USB receiver, and a ResponseCard Radio frequency LCD device for you to use for testing and practice. It also includes a QuickStart Guide that includes information about installing the software, using the dashboard, setting up the receiver, connecting to ResponseWare, PowerPoint Polling, Anywhere Polling, creating content in PowerPoint, managing data, etc. The instructor kit allows you to take the equipment with you wherever it's needed.  If you use the SRS in multiple classes, you will need to keep your assigned receiver with you and plug it into the computer in each class, wherever you teach. We recommend you affix your name and contact info to your kit in case it's ever left behind in a classroom.  Please note that the instructor kits and equipment therein will remain the property of the university and will need to be returned to OIT at the end of the semester. 

STEP 4: You may build an interactive presentation from scratch, or re-work existing lecture presentations to include interactive slides. You may want to begin by lecturing for 10 minutes and then posting an interactive question slide to confirm your students' comprehension of the topic.  The key to using "clickers" effectively is asking good questions.  This is a skill that takes time and practice.  Explore ideas for using the SRS by watching video interviews of faculty who have used clickers at Ohio University.

STEP 5: Inform your students via the course syllabus and course Blackboard site that they will be required to purchase a clicker for the course.  You should include the device in the required materials list as well.  Bobcat Depot (located on the first floor of Baker Center) has a limited stock of ResponseCard devices for sale to students.  Once the existing stock is depleted, Bobcat Depot will no longer sell the devices and students will need to order them directly from Turning Technologies or from other online retailers.  The local bookstores may carry them if you submit an order with your textbook requests. 

STEP 6: Students will need to register their devices using the Turning Technologies Registration Tool housed in Blackboard.  Below are training materials to teach students how to register their clicker, as well as perform other tasks, such as interpreting the LCD screen and indicator light, and changing the channel of the device.  Feel free to distribute these to students in class and/or in your Blackboard course. 

Teach Students to Use Clickers - PDF
Teach Students to Use Clickers - PPT

STEP 7: After students have registered their devices in Blackboard, you will be able to record how each individual answered any given question in class, so long as you have a Participant List to associate with your polling session data.  The "participant list" is a file that contains the students' names and the corresponding clicker ID's. Without a participant list you can only poll your students anonymously.  To download a participant list:  

  1. Open TurningPoint
  2. From the Dashboard, choose the Manage tab.
  3. From the Participants drop-down menu, choose New
  4. Select option: Download from Integration and click Create List.
  5. Complete the form. Select Blackboard for LMS. The server address is: Enter your Ohio ID and password and select Connect.
  6. Select the relevant course from the populated list and click Import
  7. Name and save the file. 
  8. Be sure to complete this process on the computer from which you will present your PowerPoint. 
  9. After opening PowerPoint Polling, and before beginning your lecture, click the Participants drop-down and choose the participant list for the group you are about to poll. 

STEP 8: Is it important that you are confident that the SRS is working. Otherwise, some students may blame the technology whenever the opportunity presents itself to get away with something, such as skipping class, not bringing a clicker to class, etc. 

BEST PRACTICE: Bring a sign-in page to class every day. Whenever a student is anxious that his/her clicker is NOT working, ask him/her to sign the paper, including a device ID and the date. You can begin class and deal with problems later. If a student comes to you months from now saying that he participated every day, and has not received the appropriate credit, thus the clicker MUST be the problem, you now have something to reference. Did the student record that he/she was having a problem by signing the sign-in page on the days in question? If not, why not? Make it the students' responsibility to be certain that their clicker IS WORKING. And don't let them blame the technology when they are at fault. 

BEST PRACTICE: You can help students confirm that their devices are functioning every day. As students are coming into the classroom and getting settled, display a Response Grid of students' names so they can verify that their device is working properly before class begins. When a student clicks a button on the ResponseCard device, the box displaying his or her name in the grid will change colors. This indicates that the clicker is functioning. 

To display a Response Grid of student names and device ID's:

While an interactive slide is up and polling is open (indicated by the green box in the Showbar), mouse over the icons on the Showbar at the top of the presentation display find the one that says, Show/Hide Response Grid (looks like a checker board).  Click the icon to produce the Response Grid.

To control how the grid appears, open the Preferences and ensure the PowerPoint tab is selected. Look for the Response Grid setting and choose options you prefer, such as font size, display names or device ID's, and rotation interval (i.e. when multiple pages of names are required, this sets the duration of display for each page before rotating to the next). 

STEP 9:  To ensure students have registered their devices correctly, print a list of student names and associated device ID's, then ask students to verify their device ID is correct by initialing next to their name.  Collect the list and repeat the procedure in subsequent class meetings until every student has verified that the data in the participant list is accurate and the devices are functioning.  After completing this task, the only time you will need to update your participant list is if a student has to get a new ResponseCard device because the one they were using is broken, lost or stolen.  Remind students that the Bobcat Depot will replace device batteries free of charge.  That said, also ask them to make sure Depot staff doesn't simply swap in a device with newer batteries. If they do, the student will have to repeat the registration process on Blackboard with the new device and then you, the instructor, will have to update your participant list.  

To print a participant list: 

  1. Open TurningPoint
  2. From the Dashboard, choose the Manage tab.
  3. Select the Participant List to be printed.
  4. Click the Edit Participants button below list display window. 
  5. To sort the list alphabetically, click the Last Name column title. 
  6. Click the Print icon to print the list. 
  7. Take the printed list to class and ask students to verify the device ID associated with their name. 
  8. If the association is correct, the student should indicate this by writing their initials on the page after their name.
  9. If the association is wrong, tell the affected student to re-register in Blackboard with the correct device ID (from the back of the ResponseCard device). 

STEP 10: At the end of each class period, save your interactive session data.  Session data records the questions you asked and how students responded to each question.  You will use session data files to create detailed reports in TurningPoint, Excel or Word, which you can import into the Blackboard Grade Center.