Clickers or Audience Response System

clickersAudience Response System (Turning Point)

The MBSB lecture theatre has a voting system handset at each seat. These are sometimes called audience responses systems or more often clickers. These clickers allow students to respond instantly to staff questions in the lecture and allows for more interactive lecturing. The broad selling points for clickers are that they are a means of improving attention, learning and retention. It is a non-threatening method of engaging all students and it is a means of getting instant feedback.

What is a Turning Point?

The School uses Turning Point software which is a PowerPoint plugin to run the system. Staff can download the plugin to their own PCs and set up the questions within their PowerPoint presentations. The file can be opened and run from the Turning Point dashboard which is on the desktop of the lecture theatre computer.

Turning Technologies

Improving the student learning experience

How are these clickers used?

Clickers are used by a number of different staff in the Medical School. For example they are used to

  1. obtain feedback from students
  2. assess basic knowledge
  3. encourage critical thinking and decision making
  4. collect research data
  5. promote discussion in groups
  6. run class elections.

What are the benefits?

Benefits have been found to be:

  1. —It is quick and easy to use
  2. It engages all students
  3. Improves iteraction / dialogue in large classes
  4. —Students can compare their performance with classmates
  5. —Allows everyone a response or voice
  6. —Provides real feedback
  7. —Privacy of choice
  8. —Gives students a focused opportunity to share thinking and to learn from their peers.
  9. —Opportunities for students to self-assess their preparedness for an exam.

There is significant literature available on the use of clickers in education.

Where Can I use Turning Point?

  1. Main lecture theatre – fixed clickers at each seat
  2. Any teaching space – there are 160 sets of portable clickers

All the medical School presentation PCs have Turning Point Dashboard on the desktop, however the system can be run from a laptop with the necessary software.

Getting help

If you are interested in finding out more about using clickers or you wish to borrow the mobile sets then email medhelpdesk@st-andrews.ac.uk .  Alternatively you could speak to Julie Struthers (jes10), Learning Technology Consultant.

Students get practice in using the clickers during orientation week and so need no instruction during class.