Phasing Out Turning Point Clickers

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Turning Point Clickers have performed a faithful student response system service for many years across the University, being borrowed and returned in locations near and far, and this was an excellent system to prove how valuable response systems are for Teaching and Learning.

However, like polaroids, yellow pages and casette tapes  the clickers system has been largely superseded by web based systems which utilise mobile devices that a student is likely to have, so LEaD have decided to phase out the clickers systems, and will provide plenty of support and assistance to move the City Community across to our web based platform.

TP Clickers

Turning Point clickers and the ancillary equipment they require

Turning Point Clickers are a legacy piece of technology, both in terms of the physical clickers themselves and the required USB receiver and the software installed on the Pod PCs.

To fit with the latest practice within the sector, the LEaD Educational Technology Team and IT have invested in a web-based student response system, Poll Everywhere, which has been in use at City for the last few years. Poll Everywhere utilises mobile devices which a student already has such as their phone, tablet or laptop.

Here’s a success story of moving across to Poll Everywhere from Professor Rachael-Anne Knight:

It is now even easier to transfer across existing polls and quizzes, so you don’t have to re-write all your teaching materials.

Why are we phasing out the clickers?

Reliability Issues: The clickers are becoming unreliable as they are all at least 5 years old, and do not reliably perform – this can be hard to quantify as an Academic, particularly in a large lecture space.  The lack of reliability may lead to incorrect results being shown and acted upon during a taught session.

The USB receivers can also be problematic – sometimes they mysteriously change their channel, and it appears that the whole system doesn’t work.  This then necessitates a support call, and a delay to using the system until support staff can get to the room – losing valuable teaching time.

Uneconomical to maintain – The maintenance of the clickers is problematic and not environmentally friendly,  as they require two CR-2032 batteries, a specialist screwdriver, and several minutes per clicker to change them.  With 400 plus clickers available all needing testing, maintenance and battery replacement each year, this is not a small task.

Unsupported Software: The current version of Turning Point software on the pods is not fully supported on Windows 10.  All teaching pods have been upgraded to Windows 10, and therefore we cannot guarantee the Turning Point software will reliably work meaning  the system cannot be described as “fully supported”.

Why don’t you just upgrade the clickers and software to the latest version?

The current clickers do not work reliably with the latest version of software Turning Point Cloud.  In order to use clickers and Turning Point cloud, we would need to purchase hundreds of new clickers.  As usage of clickers is already very low, the cost of purchase and ongoing maintenance is not justifiable, particularly when we already have a fully supported, very popular system in place which can meet all your response system needs.

The Poll Everywhere system, which is already available and fully supported at City, University of London, can be used instead of the Turning Point Clickers system.

When are clickers being phased out?

LEaD have already been working with users of Turning Point to move to Poll Everywhere and are aiming to have all users moved across for the start of the new Academic Year 18/19. Support for Turning Point will cease on the 31st July 2018.

Your  School Educational Technology Relationship Lead will be able to provide support and assistance as required to ensure a smooth transistion across to Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere is an application that is simple to set up and use and allows for student participation via mobile devices. You create polls and quizzes and students answer multiple choice or open questions via a fast mobile-friendly web page, sending text messages or using Twitter. The poll or quiz is updated in real time with their answers. Advanced uses include marking answers as correct, registering students to track achievement and using questions with clickable images.

See more information here:

https://sleguidance.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CLIC/overview

 

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One Response

  1. Snigdha Nag (Miss)

    May 17, 2018 12:15 pm

    Hello Sheila,
    Thank you for this blog post.
    When I first heard that Turning Point Clickers were going to be phased out, I was terrified! I use Clickers in many of my large group and have designed whole sessions to incorporate quizzes and voting to drive learning, understanding and applying principles to practice.
    However, I have found transitioning to Poll Everywhere on a trial basis remarkably simple and painless. It has a number of advantages to the Clickers which, in the future, will improve the student experiences.
    I am looking forward to completing the transition to Poll Everywhere next academic year.
    Thanks again for your post.

    Reply

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