The Turning Point personal response system (PRS) enables academics to create interactive presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint and to gather student responses to questions and statements via credit card size handsets.
The software is effective at facilitating in-class discussion and represents a powerful tool for classroom-based formative testing.
See for yourself…
- Have a look at some online Turning Point tutorials to get a feel for what it can do, and how user-friendly it is
- An interesting blogpost: 'Clicker experience at NUI Galway: student feedback' by Sharon Flynn
Why use it?
- Increases interaction and engagement in lecture
- Facilitates discussion and guides lectures
- Tests understanding by providing immediate feedback
- Responses are anonymous; more truthful responses to controversial topics?
- Questioning and data gathering
- Reduces isolation in large classes
- Feedback received suggests students enjoy its use
- Integrates with PowerPoint and Word
Who can use it?
Any member of staff, or a student supported by a staff member
A total of 200 handsets are available from the Library & Learning Centre (Main Library).
The Turning Point software is available on the University's Standard Operating Environment (SOE) [start-> supportive software-> Turning Point 2008] and the managed desktop, and can be used in all main teaching venues.
It can also be used on a Mac: contact the Assess Team, who can email you a link to the free software, which you would then install. Braille handsets are also now available.
Software & Installation
- Download Turning Point Software (2008 Version 4_3_1_1109). Note: you will require administrator rights on your PC in order to install this software
- Installation instructions
- Introduction - Overview of Operation (PDF)
- Creating A Basic Interactive PowerPoint Slide Using Turning Point (PDF)
- Getting Set Up in the Lecture Theatre (PDF)
- Generating Reports (PDF)
Who to contact?
Initial enquiries: email the Assess Team to discuss requirements and training.
Booking Turning Point
Bookings and support for the TurningPoint system is coordinated by the LLC Assessment Team. You should use this form to request the kit. Requests received after 5pm will not be dealt with until after 9am the following day (please allow up to 24 hours for a reply). The TP kit is extremely popular during semester time - so it is best to get your request in early!
Is delivered in a number of ways:
- InspirED programme of workshops and seminars
- Group training tailored for specific schools/departments
- One-to-one sessions as required
What service to expect from us
- Initial guidance and help from an Assess team member
- Assistance with creating slides (if required)
- Initial in situ support for first couple of sessions using the kit
- Support documents available via email
What is expected from you?
- Development and authoring of presentations and activities
- Willingness to learn to use the system effectively and pro-actively
- Booking the equipment as far in advance as possible, giving rough class size, date and time, and stating whether you need a team member to attend
- Testing of the equipment and presentation in the venue prior to use
Benefits for inclusive learning and teaching
Turning Point can offer particular benefits to enhance inclusion for disabled students and other students who may encounter learning difficulties, by:
- Enabling students with communication difficulties relating to a visual, hearing, physical or cognitive impairment to independently and positively respond to questions from the instructor
This section provides specific advice on ensuring that disabled students can benefit from the use of Turning Point, while providing guidance on avoiding introducing potential accessibility barriers.
Accessibility limitations of Turning Point
- Some students with limited manual dexterity or more severe physical disabilities may have difficulty using the handsets to select a choice
- Students with severe visual impairment may find it difficult to understand the layout of handset buttons, and how each button maps to a particular answer
Using Turning Point in an inclusive way
Introducing the handsets:
- Explain the layout of the handset buttons (telephone keypad arrangement) and which buttons students will be expected to choose from
- Provide Braille-labelled handset for students who can read Braille
Designing the presentation:
- When designing a presentation that will include some Turning Point questions, follow general best practice in accessible slide design
- Text size, weight and font should enable easy reading from the class
- Text colour should contrast sufficiently with the slide background
- Colour should not be used as the only way to convey information
- Animations should not be used, as they interfere with the Turning Point system
- Remember that Turning Point will generate new slide content - i.e. the collected responses of the class - that will be displayed on a slide.
- Do not assume that all students will be able to read the results for themselves.
- So, read out the key points of the results, so that students who have difficulty reading the slides, or are unable to read the slides, can understand how the class responded
Email our ongoing support email Assess