Preparing to Use Clickers

Alert your Academic Computing Manager

Please talk to your Academic Computing Manager about your plans to use clickers. Your ACM is responsible for notifying the Cardinal Technology Center as to the demand for clickers each semester. In order to ensure adequate clicker supply, this must be completed 4 weeks before the beginning of the semester.

With Moodle

If you use Moodle for your class, you can take advantage of the TurningPoint plugin included with your course. This plugin will allow students to register their clicker IDs through Moodle, which you can then import into TurningPoint to map individuals to their responses. Of course, while displaying results in class, only aggregate data will be charted. To set up this plugin, simply log in to your course Moodle and turn editing on. This adds a new box, called "Add a block", to your interface. From this new menu, select "Turning Technologies" on the drop down. This will add another box, for TurningPoint, to your Moodle; you're free to click and drag the top bar to move it around your page to a location you prefer.

By adding this box, students now have the ability to connect their unique Device ID, printed on the back of their clickers, to their account (instructions for this are here).Instructors can then download these lists into TurningPoint using the "Administer" link in the block.

Without Moodle

If you are not using Moodle in your class, you can still have students register clickers. Talk to your Academic Computing Manager to request activation through student portfolios.

Setup in the Classroom

Using TurningPoint in the classroom requires a receiver unit to receive student input. These can be obtained from your Academic Computing Manager. The newer ones have a serial number of RRRF-02; if yours ends with -01, you will want to request a new unit. Plug this receiver into an available USB slot of the PC or Mac computer you are using for your class. (If you wish to use your own computer, the TurningPoint software is a free download available here.) Once connected, you will want to open up the TurningPoint 5 software, and you will see the following screen.

TurningPoint 5 Main Screen

Polling Basics

When running TurningPoint, regardless of mode, polling is always toggled at either active or inactive. While active, any student within the classroom can enter a response using their clickers. Questions are typically structured as a multiple choice and often serve as points to lead into discussion (e.g., "Discuss your answer with your neighbor, then revote").  If you are using the in-room computer, it is recommended to save any data you wish to retain onto an external disk, such as a thumb drive, or onto Wesfiles, rather than on the classroom machine.

PowerPoint Polling

The PowerPoint Polling option opens up an instance of PowerPoint, as well as a special TurningPoint toolbar. From this toolbar, you can create special TurningPoint-enabled slides, load participant lists that were created from Moodle or portfolio (as above),and manage data. Pre-prepared question slides display as part of your regular PowerPoint presentation and polling opens on a click, as if advancing a slide, and closes with the next click.

Anywhere Polling

TurningPoint Anywhere Bar

When selecting Anywhere Polling, the Polling Toolbar (pictured above) displays on screen. This toolbar remains constantly on top of whatever else you are showing; when you are ready to ask a polling question, simply hit the green Play button. This will be replaced by a Stop button, which closes polling at your discretion, and displays a histogram of submitted answers. The button at the lower left provides various options; the one at the lower right shrinks the Toolbar even further for less intrusiveness.


For a more detailed guide of how to use TurningPoint; gathering, storing, and scoring data; and creating question types, Turning Technologies offers a set of video tutorials.