TurningPoint: Getting Started

Follow these steps:

STEP 1: Please be aware that the vendor no longer supports the TurningPoint 5 software, so as of April 30, 2016, Ohio University OIT will no longer provide cental support for TP5.  This means the classroom desktops will no longer have TP5 installed and the installed Microsoft Office software is no longer compatible.  If you choose to continue to use TP5, you will need to bring to class your own laptop with the TP5 software and, if you use the PowerPoint Polling feature, compatible Microsoft Office Suite in order to collect polling data.  (Compatible versions: For Windows, XP, Vista, 7 or 8 and Office 2003-2013, plus the 32-bit version of 2016.  For Mac, OS X 10.6 to 10.10 and Office 2011 only.)  For support, you may call the OIT Service Desk at 740-593-1222 and we will make our best effort to assist, but we cannot guarantee that any issues with the software will be fixed, since the vendor is no longer developing TP5.

STEP 2: Download the TurningPoint software and install it on your personal computer. This is the software you will use to author interactive question slides within Microsoft PowerPoint.  If you have a USB receiver that contains storage space and the no-install TP5 software, you do not need to install the software on a machine.  If you're using the Poll Anywhere feature (instead of the PowerPoint Polling feature), you can continue to use TP5 on classroom machines, as the compatibility with Office is not an issue.

STEP 3: You need to have an "instructor kit" that includes 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 carry the instructor kit and the machine you're using it on with you to different classrooms. 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 OIT no longer provides instructor kits, but you can contact the vendor, Turning Technologies, to request one or purchase one online.  Be aware of the difference between TurningPoint 5 and TurningPoint Cloud equipment.  They are not interchangeable.

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.  As of April 2017, the Bobcat Depot (located on the first floor of Baker Center) has a limited stock of ResponseCard RF LCD 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.  Please also note that the Bobcat Depot no longer buys used clickers back from students at the end of the term.

STEP 6: The Turning Technologies Registration Tool will remain housed in Blackboard for as long as it functions with the version of Blackboard that is being used.  While the registration tool is in place, students may continue to register their devices in Blackboard so that you can download the resulting participant list, as well as upload TP5 scores to the Bb Grade Center.  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. 

If the registration tool no longer functions and/or is no longer in Blackboard, you can create participant lists manually from within the TP5 software.

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.   

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.