Clickers - Classroom Polling

  • classroom polling hardware and software.
    Classroom Polling using PowerPoint and “clickers.”

    Allowing students to anonymously answer questions can facilitate discussion or provide feedback in larger classes, test content mastery, and allow for the exploration of sensitive topics anonymously. A useful bibliography of papers on the discipline specific use of clickers in teaching can be found here:

    http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/docs/classroom-response-system-clickers-bibliography/.

    The way it works is you install software that adds toolbars to PowerPoint so that you can add interactive polling slides. Installation instructions can be found on the tabs above or at https://oit.williams.edu/software/entry/889/.

    When you present your slideshow and arrive at an interactive polling slide, students use polling devices to vote. The radio signals from the polling devices are collected by the computer through a USB shaped radio receiver. The radio signals travel every direction so no pointing of the clickers is necessary. A green light on the polling device indicates that the vote was received. While polling is open, the last button pressed on the clicker will be the vote that counts. The slide toolbar has a count of how many clicker responses have been registered. Regular PowerPoint slides can be mixed in with the special interactive polling slides.

    Where can I get clickers?

    Semester Long Loans:

    Sets of clickers can be borrowed for the duration of the semester by contacting Trevor Murphy at [email protected] Demand often exceeds supply, so advanced notice is required. In some cases, clickers are shared by several faculty members who have a classroom in common.

    Alternatives

    We have also been trying polling using cell phones: http://www.polleverywhere.com/.

  • 1. Click to open the TurningPoint Cloud application on the PC.
    Do not open PowerPoint first or double click on your PowerPoint file.

    2. Create an account or sign in with your existing account.
    Use your Williams email as your id. The password can be anything you want. You will have to verify the account via email.

    Sign in for TurningPoint
    Sign in or create an account for TurningPoint

    3. Make Sure PowerPoint is closed. Open the TurningPoint app. (It will open PowerPoint for you with the TurningPoint tool bars.)

    TurningPoint Desktop Installer
    TurningPoint Desktop Installer

    4. Plug in your USB receiver (looks like a thumb drive) and select PowerPoint polling.

    Select PowerPoint Polling.
    Select PowerPoint Polling.

    5. Find the TurningPoint tab in PowerPoint.

    TurningPoint Tab in PowerPoint.
    TurningPoint Tab in PowerPoint.

    6. Select new multiple choice slide.Replace the text in the title area with your question and replace the list items with the answers. Do not cut and paste.

    Select new multiple choice slide.
    Select new multiple choice slide.

    7. Mix regular PowerPoint slides in with the interactive polling slides. Save the slideshow just as you would save a regular PowerPoint slideshow. Also, try to avoid too many interactive slides. 5 is a good number. 10 can be repetitive and uninteresting.

    Save your slideshow with the PowerPoint menu option: File: Save As. Remember: The save button in the TurningPoint tool bar is only for the clicker response data, not your presentation.

    8. Start your slide show. Just start the PowerPoint slide show the way you normally would.

    9. Manage Polling: When you arrive at a polling question, the slide is open for polling. One more slide advance and the polling closes; the resulting graph is displayed. Another slide advance, and the next slide is displayed. A useful feature to be aware of is the ability to re-poll a question.

    During the slide show, there is a toolbar present.
    During the slide show, there is a toolbar present.

    10. Assess how it went and consider more advanced features. 

    Contact your ITech Liaison about changing the way you use clickers in your teaching.

  • 1. Click to open the TurningPoint Cloud application on the PC.
    Do not open PowerPoint first or double click on your PowerPoint file.

    2. Create an account or sign in with your existing account.
    Use your Williams email as your id. The password can be anything you want. You will have to verify the account from your email.

    Sign in for TurningPoint
    Sign in or create an account for TurningPoint

    3. Make sure PowerPoint is closed and open the Turning Point application. 

    4. Plug in your USB receiver (looks like a thumb drive) and select PowerPoint polling.

    Select PowerPoint Polling.
    Select PowerPoint Polling.

    5. You will see PowerPoint open with a floating TurningPoint toolbar.

    Floating TurningPoint Toolbar for Mac.
    Floating TurningPoint Toolbar for Mac.

    6. Select New Multiple Choice Slide.

    Replace the text in the title area with your question and replace the list items with the answers.

    Create a new polling slide on the mac.
    Create a new polling slide on the mac.

    7. Mix regular PowerPoint slides in with the interactive polling slides. Save the slideshow just as you would save a regular PowerPoint slideshow. Also, try not to have too many interactive polling slides. 5 is a good number. 10 is too many.

    Save your slideshow with the PowerPoint menu option: File: Save As. Remember: The save button in the TurningPoint tool bar is only for the clicker response data, not your presentation.

    8. Start your slide show using ONLY the special TurningPoint Toolbar slide show start button on the floating toolbar. That is the only way to get the polling software to function.

    9. Manage Polling: When you arrive at a polling question, the slide is NOT open for polling. Use the show bar on the upper right hand side of the slide to Start and Stop polling. Once the polling is stopped, the resulting graph is displayed. A useful feature to be aware of is the ability to re-poll a question. The showbar is displayed below:

    During the slide show this toolbar will be open.
    During the slide show this toolbar will be open.

    10. Asses how it went.

    Contact your ITech liaison about changing the way you use clickers in your teaching.

  • 1. Go to https://account.turningtechnologies.com/account/ and create an account.

    Sign in for TurningPoint
    Sign in or create an account for TurningPoint

    2. Verify the account.

    3. Download the software.
    For the Mac, use the “TurningPoint desktop (Mac)”
    For the PC, use the “TurningPoint desktop (PC)”

    TurningPoint Desktop Installer
    TurningPoint Desktop Installer

    You will be presented with a screen that has a check box that asks if you want to open polling every time you open PowerPoint. I recommend checking the box.
    Check out the Classroom PC or Classroom Mac instructions to see how to use the software and hardware to create polling slides in PowerPoint.