Tag Archive: Classroom Clickers

Clickers In Classrooms

The audience response system or “Clickers”, TurningPoint, is now available in each of the School of Law classrooms. Professors using the classroom PC do not need to bring a Clicker Receiver to class. Professors simply need to open their PowerPoint presentation on the classroom PC via TurningPoint.

Students need to tune their Clickers to the correct channel for the classroom, as noted on a sign in each classroom:

channel list

Used for informal Q&A, attendance and assessment purposes, professors can easily integrate multiple choice or True/False questions directly into their PowerPoint slides using the TurningPoint software.  Students then submit their “anonymous” responses on their own personal clickers, which look like small remote controls. Depending on the settings, the results of the question are then displayed on the slide. No one will know whether you got the question right or wrong so you don’t have to be afraid to respond! You also can see whether you are in sync with the rest of your classmates.

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Insider Information: TurningPoint Clickers

Image of PowerPoint presentationFor those of you that use, or will use TurningPoint Technologies‘ clickers in your classroom, here are a few insider tips:

Duplicate Slides: NEVER use the duplicate slide feature in PowerPoint to duplicate a slide that is set up to use clickers. Many things could go wrong if you do this, but the main issue is that your polling will not work.

Countdown Timer: When you add a countdown timer to your slide, you will notice that you have to click the mouse (or right arrow button on your keyboard) in order to see and start the countdown timer. An extra click is required and you may forget this! So, if you want your countdown timer to begin automatically upon opening a slide in your presentation, simply click on Animations at the top of your screen – then select the Animation pane option in the top-right hand corner (your animation pane will now open on the right-hand side of the screen). Lastly, right-click on the countdown timer animation and select Remove. Now, your countdown timer will begin when the slide displays on the screen.

Animations: Have you ever wanted additional content to display AFTER the correct answer is shown and the graph/percentages with student responses are displayed? To do so, highlight an item that you would like displayed, select Animations at the top of your screen, and then select the type of animation you would like by clicking on one of the stars at the top of the screen. If you need to change the order in which your animation is displayed, select Animations at the top of your screen, then select the Animation pane option, then manually drag the animation up or down on the animation pane on the right-hand side to the desired location.

Format: Remember that if you do not have your slide in the proper format (Title & Content) then the polling software will not work. Do not add your own text boxes or use alternate formats (i.e., Two Content, Comparisons, Title Only, etc.) for the question and answer choices.

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Presentation Features in Slideshow Mode

The following video will show you many of the features available to you when executing the PowerPoint presentation in slideshow mode using the TurningPoint software (PC or MAC version). This includes:

  • Adding a countdown timer
  • Adding a response grid
  • Adding a non-response grid
  • Viewing specific student data
  • and more!

Important: If possible, please change the settings on YouTube so that you are viewing this video in HD mode.

Turn an Existing PPT Presentation into a Clicker Presentation

The following video will show you how to do the following using TurningPoint Technologies clicker software:

  • Turn an existing PowerPoint presentation into a Clicker Presentation using the TurningPoint software (PC or MAC version)
  • Create new slides in your presentation for clicker questions

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Important: If possible, please change the settings on YouTube so that you are viewing this video in HD mode.

Create or Import a Participant List

The following video will show you how to do the following using TurningPoint Technologies clicker software:

  • Import an excel file (class roster) into TurningPoint
  • Have your students self-register their clickers in class
  • Update/Add to a TurningPoint Participant list
  • Create a Participant list

Important: If possible, please change the settings on YouTube so that you are viewing this video in HD mode.

Integrating Technology into Legal Education

I’m not new to educational technology, but I am new to legal education. I’m also new to Pepperdine School of Law. As such, I recently administered an anonymous technology survey to law faculty in order to gauge their level of interest in educational technology and how it can be used to enhance teaching and learning. I will use this post as an opportunity to share with you two key findings:

Faculty Take Interest in their Students’ Learning Experience: At Pepperdine, faculty care about their students’ learning experience. 100% of respondents indicated that enhancing student engagement during class was their primary objective. Other popular objectives included:

  • Incorporating Active Learning techniques and in-class exercises
  • Enhancing learning with multimedia
  • Enhancing student engagement outside of class
  • Improving student assignments

Faculty are Interested in Technology: Faculty are interested in incorporating a variety of technology tools into their classroom. Here are just a few specific approaches of interest mentioned:

  • Document Sharing/Collaboration
  • Multimedia
  • Delivery of Online Content
  • Simulations
  • Feedback Surveys/Instruments
  • Clickers
  • Online Tutorials (to supplement course work)
  • Lecture Capture

Information Services Department LogoOne way the Information Services Department at the School of Law will assist faculty in the integration of technology is by providing regularly scheduled, hands-on learning sessions. These learning sessions will present practical and relevant ways in which faculty can integrate technology effectively into their classroom. The first learning session will be held on Monday June 11th at 12:30PM. Professor McNeal will lead the session with his experiences using clickers, and will present meaningful ways in which others can join him in using this tool to improve student outcomes.

Click Your Way to Success!

I’m new to legal education, and in order to get up to speed on how things work around here, I’ve had the privilege of  sitting in on a few law classes during their final days of the spring semester. One thing I noticed was that student participation was quite low. The lectures were engaging and I definitely learned a few new things, but I wonder…. would these classrooms benefit from the use of clickers? Would clickers increase student participation and student engagement? How could they be integrated into the various legal subjects? In this post I will outline a few of the benefits and uses of clickers in legal education, and present an interesting clicker case study from Harvard. Perhaps after reading this, you too will be convinced that clickers would be an excellent addition to law classes in the upcoming fall semester.

What are Clickers? Basically, they look like little remote controls (see image below to the left). They vary in size, shape, screen, and buttons (depending on the manufacturer).

Image of a clickerHow are clickers used in the classroom? They are mostly used for informal Q&A, but have also been used for attendance and assessment purposes. Professors can easily integrate multiple choice or True/False questions directly into their PowerPoint slides.  Students then submit their “anonymous” responses on their own personal clickers. Depending on the settings, the results of the question are then displayed on the slide. No one will know whether you got the question right or wrong so you don’t have to be afraid to respond! You also can see whether you are in sync with the rest of your classmates.

Why are clickers appropriate for a law course? Typically law professors implement a Socratic style teaching method. The professor asks a question, then selects a student to respond. This process gets repeated over and over again. One issue with such a learning experience is the fact that only one student is actively engaged in the dialogue. The other students may or may not be paying attention and/or answering the question in their own mind. Clickers change all that! Now when a question is asked, every student has to respond. But the good part is – students are responding anonymously, so they can focus more on thinking critically about the question than on being embarrassed in front of their peers.

What are some ways law professors could use clickers in their classrooms?  To assess prior knowledge, test student’s engagement with the required reading, check for understanding, identify misconceptions, ask questions, determine students’ opinions, obtain feedback, break up the lecture session, foster a sense of community, and hold students accountable. Professors have the option of using clicker responses as an assessment tool. Rather than have your entire grade based on an end-of-semester final exam, why not let clicker responses throughout the semester count as a small percentage towards students’ final course grade? This option may be a more accurate assessment of students’ acquired knowledge.

Are other law schools using this tool? YES! Harvard Law School is using it with success! A visiting professor explained how she used clickers in her classroom, here is what she had to say: “Students work the problems in advance, as homework. When they do the reading many think a little bit about the problems but only get half way to the solutions. The first day of using clickers I figure out who in class does that. The group who solved the problems for homework buzz in right away, while the rest will delay. I ask, “Can this debt be discharged in bankruptcy?” The half that responded instantly prepared the problem sufficiently. I address the delayed responses at that time, explaining the value of working the problem all the way to a definite answer.  With the second class of using clickers, I see the number of delayed responses go down. And with the third class the number goes down further. Students are preparing more fully in response to the follow up possible with clickers” (Excerpt taken from: http://libguides.law.harvard.edu/tlc)

What’s next?? If you are a student, advocate for the use of clickers in your classroom! If you are a professor, talk to your Instructional Technology staff about specific ways in which you can use these tools in your classroom. At Pepperdine Law School we will soon be starting a series of hands-on technology-based learning sessions for faculty, where we provide practical ways in which clickers and other tools can be effectively integrated into your classroom. One-on-one individualized technology consultations are also available. For more details, email support@law.pepperdine.edu. Additional information will be posted on our web site shortly!

For more resources view:

TurningPoint Installation Directions

TurningPoint Training

Eight Steps to Run TurningPoint