Smartphone with response card
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 10:08am

In Fall 2016, University of Iowa students were moved to TurningPoint Cloud, a more convenient way to provide instant response to instructors’ polls and questions during class. Instead of bringing separate clicker devices to class as they had in the past, they are able to use other wireless-enabled personal devices, like laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

Student response systems can make classes more interactive and fun, facilitate discussions, guide lectures, encourage peer instruction, and conduct polls. They’re used to review for quizzes and tests, direct classroom discussions, and provide feedback on course material.

“Most students come to campus with two or three devices,” says Instructional Technology Director Annette Beck of the Information Technology Services (ITS) Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology. “It will be handy for them to use devices they already carry to interact in the classroom setting.”

Use of clicker devices has been declining as more schools transition to the bring-your-own-device model for student response systems.

The University of Iowa made this change because the service contract for its existing clicker software (TurningPoint 5) was coming to a close. The University moved to TurningPoint Cloud, which offers enhanced security, new features, and integrations with Iowa Courses Online (ICON), along with the ability for students to respond using devices they already carry to class.

“Faculty surveyed as we were weighing the options indicated they wanted to avoid having to update slides and course materials as a result of a clicker service change,” Beck says. “Their input factored into our decision to remain with the vendor the UI has used for the past nine years.”

ITS expects an easy transition for students and instructors to use the cloud version, and more information is available at http://its.uiowa.edu/srs. Most students come to campus with multiple devices, but if a student does need one, instructors should contact their local IT support to make arrangements for the student to participate.

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