March 4, 2013

NIU Now Supports TurningPoint 5

TurningPointFaculty who are currently using or thinking about using clickers in the classroom are in for a real treat. ITS has installed the latest version of the Turning Technologies TurningPoint software (Version 5.1.1f1) in Provost’s Office-sponsored smart classrooms the week before Spring 2013 classes started.

This software upgrade does not impact the receivers or the clickers, but the new version does consolidate a number of familiar applications into one central user-friendly interface. Previous legacy versions contained several software components that had to be downloaded and installed separately. Those who use the TurningPoint software with Blackboard will be pleased to know that the Blackboard building block integration has also been updated, which provides several enhancements to current features enabling faculty to import and export class rosters and data from polling sessions within the TurningPoint software. As of Spring 2013, faculty teaching 39 course sections involving 3,400 students made use of the TurningPoint clicker software.

Features

The new TurningPoint software version includes a host of new and updated features:

  • Simplifies user workflow and user experience for all current applications (PowerPoint Polling, Anywhere Polling, and Self-Paced Polling) by consolidating them into one central interface. Previous legacy version had each component as a separate stand-alone program.
  • Robust HTML content editor that supports pictures, special characters, subscripts and superscripts
  • Math equation editor
  • Simplifies ability to create, import, and export participant lists from the new participant list editor
  • Newly enhanced area to manage aggregate session data
  • Newly enhanced report interface that can create six new customizable reports for all polling environments
  • Ability to import and use session data and presentations from previous legacy version of TurningPoint
  • Mac version is available, but the Mac integration with PowerPoint is forthcoming (update expected later in Spring 2013)

Software and Training

To download the software, please click here and navigate to the “Current Release” tab to get the appropriate version for your machine. In addition to periodic workshops on clickers offered by Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Turning Technologies also offers TurningPoint training in the form of tutorials, instructor-led online classes, and self-paced training. All of these trainings are offered at no cost to faculty using TurningPoint and clickers. The faculty-led online classes are available multiple times each week and are typically an hour in length. These training workshops are highly recommended for faculty looking to use clickers for the first time or to learn how to use the new upgraded software. In addition, please visit the Training Documents area to download and view guides on how to use TurningPoint 5.

Support

New faculty who plan to teach with clickers can request a free instructor kit from Melinda Caban, the Turning Technologies account manager. She is also available to answer any questions regarding ordering and product information:

Melinda Caban
Account Manager
Phone: 330.599.4925 | Email: mcaban@turningtechnologies.com

As a general reminder, students are recommended to purchase clicker devices at the bookstore (upon faculty adoption), or through the Turning Technologies Student Store using NIU1 as the school code. Students using a web-enabled device such as a smartphone or laptop also have the option of purchasing a ResponseWare license to respond in polling sessions without needing a physical clicker device. Students considering this option will need to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot or be willing to use their own internet data plan on their devices. Please contact Melinda for more information about ResponseWare.

For general questions regarding the Blackboard integration with clickers, faculty can contact our office at 753-0595 or facdev@niu.edu. More details regarding the system are available from Turning Technologies at http://www.turningtechnologies.com.

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