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Classroom Polling Systems (clickers) in DIT

Pixabay CCOClassroom polling systems offer a tool for engaging students in the classroom. These systems have been used in a variety of fields and at all levels of education. The teacher or lecturer poses a question to the students; the students use a clicker or smartphone to transmit answers. Some of the activities facilitated by classroom polling systems include:
  • Class Discussion - Facilitate discussion by polling students' opinions and discussing the reasons for their opinion
  • Feedback - Collect immediate feedback about students' understanding of lecture topics so confusion can be addressed quickly
  • Collect Data and Perform Formative Assessment - Collect data on course topics or learning preferences throughout the cycle of a course
  • Summative assessment - collect student answers to quizzes and exams
  • Take Attendance - Record attendance in large lecture courses.

Interested in concrete examples of their use at DIT? See Clicker_report_July_2011 (pdf) and 2018 Insights with Alice Luby

What's available now in DIT?

DIT is currently supporting a pilot study investigating the use of smart phones for in-class polling, and a DIT site-wide licence for the use of TurningPoint software is available free to all staff during 2018 (please be aware that a site wide licence beyond 2018 is not guaranteed). To find out more about TurningPoint, get your free account, and get started using the software click here.

What about other classroom polling solutions?

TurningPoint has been in use at DIT for many years and many academic staff have invested time in developing question banks and teaching strategies that make use of this software. However, it is not free to use - DIT currently pays an institutional licence for its use. We need to determine if TurningPoint is the most cost effective and pedagogically sound solution available and therefore are keen to hear from any DIT staff who have experience of using alternative classroom polling systems, or who would like trial a different system and give us feedback.

* List of alternative classroom polling solutions

* Criteria for evaluating classroom polling solutions

* Your feedback - tell us via this online form about your experiences of using any polling software

* Comparison of features across a range of classroom polling solutions (work in progress, available to DIT staff only)

Are you using the "old" clicker handsets?

Clicker devices have been available to borrow from some DIT libraries for a number of years and these work with older versions of TurningPoint software. These devices are not configured for use with the current cloud-based version of TurningPoint and will only work with older versions of the software already downloaded by DIT staff (Turning Point 5 is the most popular). TurningPoint 5 is no longer supported by TurningPoint and users can expect a gradual loss of functionality as MS-Office, operating systems etc are upgraded. Polls/quizzes created in Turning Point 5 can however be imported into TurningPoint Cloud - you will need to request a new TurningPoint Account and it is advisable to attend a TurningPoint webinar before making the change.