Instant voting systems come into their own in large classrooms where class-wide discussions or Q&A style sessions are often impossible. Used creatively, they can be used to promote and enable creative and engaging teaching in large and small classroom contexts.
Quick polls break up the monotony of one-way lectures (and gives teachers a break from speaking)
Anonymity can put students at ease – the fear of being seen not to know or have understood something is eliminated, students are safe to express opinions, political and social preferences under discussion without admitting to it personally
Diagnostic use allows teachers to gauge cohorts initial level of knowledge and progressive understanding
It allows teachers to use the so-called “Socratic" teaching method, progressing students’ understanding through questioning their preconceptions, reacting flexibly to their answers and thus progressing to a fuller understanding as a whole
instant voting systems can be used creatively, eg get students to react and interact with each other, to contribute to active learning and increased classroom engagement
Teachers can collect post-session feedback to review their content, identify problem areas and track student progression
How does it work?
Teachers create interactive polling question slides in PowerPoint using the TurningPoint plugin. Students answer using their own devices that allow them to go online (smartphone, tablets, laptops). The results are automatically entered into the same slide after students have answered. Teachers and students can then review and discuss the results.
Step 1: Setting up Basics
To get an instructor account, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your LSE email. We will send you an invitation (check your junk mail, just in case, because it comes from turningtechnologies)
TurningPoint works as a plugin for PowerPoint. To get the plugin installed on your office computer (PC), search for the LSE Self Service software download centre and download TurningPoint from there.
Once you have finished creating your slides click on the refresh button, to make them appear properly.
Step 3: Running your presentation
you will be asked to login with your instructor account details (lse email and whichever password you chose when you created it). From the dashboard, click on the PowerPoint Polling tab on the left. Go to File and find your PowerPoint.
Before you start:
If you are trying it out just after editing, refresh the slides
If you are re-using slides that have polled before, reset all slides.
When all the charts are “flat”, i.e. no bars are showing you are ready to go live. (We recommend to refresh and reset just before, to be safe).
Enable mobile responses:
(Click on Mobile responses - if it is green, your session is live).
Also choose your session options.
Here you make choices about how students join. Students only need a session id. This can be reserved beforehand (we recommend using your course code, eg DV123, but you can also choose something more personal like Kattiespolls2020, which you can use for any session). Click on reserve, enter it, save. It will appear in the session ID dropdown. If you don’t do this, TP will choose a random number for every session you start.
Untick require participant accounts. Ideally don’t require names, though this is up to you. Messaging is a useful thing, as it acts like a chat during the session.
Note: Make sure you don’t tick “require participant accounts” and if you want to make it neater for students choose “don’t show” for session login information. All of this can be set from the ‘Session options’ button which can be found after clicking polling. TurningPoint will remember these settings once you save them, so you only have to do it once.
Save your session options.
Click on startsession. Make sure you tell your students the Session ID so that they can join your poll.
You can then close this pop up screen (not “end session”). Your session remains “live” until you logout again or log off the computer. Participants can join by typing responseware.eu or ttpoll.eu into a browser on any sort of device using a browser. Poll questions will show on their device as they appear in the presentation.
Start your PowerPoint presentation (the screen icon or F5). When you come to a question slide, the showbar will be on the screen. In zoom, this will not be shown to participants. It is where YOU control the slides. When the poll is open, the right hand side will be green. When you close the poll, so that no more answers can be submitted, it will be red.
Note: Remember to untick “ask students to register”, or their joining will take up more time.
Students may be asked or shown a screen to enter profile information, but they can leave it blank and choose JOIN SESSION without entering anything. This can be prevented from appearing by the presenter in settings (see above).
Make sure you run through your TurninPoint presentation ahead of your teaching so you are familar with the process. If you have any queries contact email@example.com
Alternative voting technologies
We do not support these officially, but we can give general advice on a variety of these. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss your needs and ideas using TurningPoint or alternatives or a combination of both. PollEverywhere – is free to use for up to 40 people per poll
Socrative: Online polling system/ mobile device app polling system, free account for up to 50 students per session (“room”).
Plickers – A “low” tech alternative which does not require students to own or use devices; instead they hold up cards and the lecturer scans the room with an app on their phone.
Derek Bruff’s blog. This blog accompanies a book called “teaching with classroom response systems”, a comprehensive guide about using instant voting systems in education.
Bruff, D. (2009). Teaching with classroom response systems: Creating active learning environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mazur, E. (1997). Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-565441-6 http://ericmazur.com/ has lots of useful resources on his website