Microsoft have created a handy video that shows you how.
Student Response Systems
Some academic units have bought their own sets of clickers (zappers) and these are listed below, along with the contact details of the person responsible for managing their use. You will normally only be able to use sets belonging to your own academic unit.
Note that the Library loan service is no longer available.
If you wish to purchase your own sets, please contact ServiceLine. A set of 40 with receiver and carry case costs around £1500.
|Health Sciences||200||Adrienne Thomasfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Medicine||240||SoM Reception AB233||79 email@example.com|
|Biological Sciences||80||Matthew Bellamyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Social Sciences||80||Amos Channonemail@example.com|
|WSA||64||Media Stores (drop in)|
Please contact (Adam Warren 24486 firstname.lastname@example.org) if these details need amending.
Student Response Systems (SRS) such as Meetoo and Turning Point enable all students to answer a question shown on-screen by their tutor, who sees a summary of their answers. The tutor can either adapt their teaching to deal with any areas of difficulty or move on swiftly if the students have firmly grasped the topic. The technology can also be used to gather student questions or opinions, and the results used to stimulate in-class debate.
Meetoo is a cloud-based service that enables students to vote using their mobile device on questions shown by their tutor in class using a web page or PowerPoint slide. It also enables students to post, read and like comments and questions, offering a useful communication channel in class.
Turning Point clickers (previously called zappers) are small handsets which enable students to answer multiple-choice questions displayed using PowerPoint. The results are instantly available to the lecturer and students.
ResponseWare enables students to vote on Turning Point questions using their mobile device instead of a clicker. Tutors require a licence to use this service.
Information about how to vote using your own mobile device.
By default, you type the answer options in Turning Point, for example like this:
- Silicon Dioxide
- Calcium Carbonate
- Iron Oxide
If your answer options involve anything but the simplest mathematical notation, you will need to take a different approach. There are a few ways to use Turning Point with equations.
This example PowerPoint includes examples of the on-screen options described below.
Paper Answer Sheets
The low-tech way is to hand out sheets of paper with all the equations for each question, handwritten or generated using LaTeX – so for example Q4 on the PowerPoint/Turning Point presentation might ask them which of the equations has an error, and the sheet lists four equations under the heading Q4, labelled A to D. Each student studies the equations, makes their choice and votes accordingly. The paper sheet could also include diagrams etc which form part of the test.
This method has the advantage of simplicity, but does require the sheets to be photocopied and distributed, which costs time and money.
Copy and paste equations from the screen (any program)
Alternatively, you could use screen grab to save equations or diagrams generated using LaTeX (or other software) as image files (GIF format) and paste those into your PowerPoint. Turning Point can create ‘image questions’ (ie using images rather than text choices) – or you can simply label the images and get the students to choose image A, B, C or D.
Copy and paste equations from Adobe Acrobat PDF documents
Adobe PDF Reader has a neat Snapshot Tool that allows you to draw round any equation or diagram and automatically copy it to your clipboard so you can paste it straight into PowerPoint. Just set the View magnification quite high (I use 150% or 200%) so you get a nice clear equation image to copy and paste.
The Snapshot Tool can be found under Acrobat Reader’s Select & Zoom in the Tools menu. If you use it regularly, you can add it to your toolbar – right-click on the toolbar, select More Tools, scroll down to Select & Zoom, and tick the checkbox next to Snapshot Tool.
Microsoft Equation Editor
Finally, you can use Microsoft Equation editor to create equations (labelled A to D for example) and insert those directly on the question slide.
Not enough room on the slide?
One problem you may find is that the equations take up most of a slide and don’t leave room for the vote choices and graph – in this case the simplest solution is to have the question and equations on one slide and then, when the students have made their choice, move on to a second slide that enables them to vote.
What are the current known bugs?
The key problem now (2017) is not a bug, but an issue caused by changes to Turning Point’s business model. For the past few years the University has used Turning Point 5.2 with PowerPoint for Windows and clicker handsets. Turning Point 7/8 requires tutors to purchase an annual licence, create an instructor account and log in every time they use it. The key benefit is that this also enables students to vote online using ResponseWare on their own mobile devices – and this offers many practical and educational advantages compared with voting using clickers. But it does mean instructors will have to find funding for that licence.
We cannot continue Turning Point 5 indefinitely as it is not supported for use with Windows 10 and Office 2017. In addition, the clickers are aging and becoming less reliable, and several USB receivers have failed and cannot been replaced.
Hyperlinks cause issues
Here’s a nasty bug – if you have hyperlinks in your PowerPoint slides and use them to access websites or jump to other slides during your presentation, PowerPoint will always crash on the next voting slide. So, don’t use hyperlinks and voting in the same slideshow.
Slideshows with animated transitions
The next bug only affects people who use those cheesy PowerPoint template styles that have animation built-in: they may cause polling to close after a moment, before anyone gets a chance to vote. Use a non-animated template for teaching.
In general, don’t add any animated objects or text to voting slides as they will probably mess them up. It’s fine to have all the animation you want on other slides in that presentation. You should also avoid having fancy slide transitions on voting slides.
How do I use clickers (zappers) in a lecture?
You can install the Turning Point software on your office PC so that you can add the special question slides to a Powerpoint presentation. Save the file to your My Documents folder, which should be accessible from the PCs installed in Common learning Space lecture rooms. Alternatively, copy it to a USB flash drive and take it with you.
You will need to borrow the clicker system (USB receiver and handsets) from your academic unit, assuming they have some.
A PowerPoint tutorial is available that shows you how to use clickers in a Common Learning Space, from start to finish.
What if the lecture room does not have a PC?
You will have to install Turning Point on a laptop PC and take it with you.
What if I am an Apple Mac user?
The latest version of Turning Point (version 8) works with MacOS and Office 2017, but you will need to purchase an annual instructor licence.
None of the clickers work!
The most likely problem is that you opened your presentation using PowerPoint rather than Turning Point – for example by double-clicking on the .ppt file. Its an easy mistake to make!
Solution: close PowerPoint, start Turning Point and open your presentation again.
I did use Turning Point, but they still don’t work!
The problem is probably the USB receiver – Windows occasionally doesn’t recognise it when you plug it in. You should always plug it in first, before starting Turning Point.
Solution: unplug the USB receiver, wait a couple of seconds, plug it back in again and try again
The receiver won’t install!
In some rare circumstances we have found that the receiver will work in one of a laptop’s USB ports but not in another. In one instance we found that the plastic casing was preventing the receiver from plugging in correctly.
Solution: try another USB port or use a USB extension cable (now provided with all loan receivers)
Some handsets don’t seem to be working!
Normally, when a student votes the light on the clicker handset flashes green to indicate a successful vote. If it flashes red and green, then there is a problem. Usually this means that the clicker is not on the same ‘channel’ (frequency) as the receiver. The most likely cause is students fiddling with the handset buttons and accidentally changing the channel.
Solution: the easiest solution is to give the student another handset. Alternatively, they can reset their handset to channel 41 (the default).
Resetting the handset to channel 41
You can quickly reset the handset channel and get it working again.
Procedure: with the USB receiver plugged in and Turning Point active:
press the GO button on the handset. Wait a moment and the light will flash red/green.
Press 4 and then 1 (for channel 41) and then press GO again to confirm your selection. Don’t rush – make each button press firm and distinct.
How do I add equations to a question or its answers?
See this advice page: Adding equations to Turning Point quizzes