At my college we have two sets of voting devices that having been gathering dust in the media services department. We have had then for a couple of years and they rarely get used. I have previously given a couple of demos to staff but this has not led to an increased usage of them. This blog article is just to think about the process of getting my College to start using them by the lecturing staff.

Yesterday Paul Jenner (from Turning Point) gave an excellent demonstration of the clickers. Using a simple pre-prepared Powerpoint and a variety of  questions he went through the many ways they can be used to encourage participation and fun in the classroom. The great thing now is that there are now at least a handful of lecturers who have used them with their students or would like to try them out in the near future. That is step one completed!

Step two is to work on the infrastructure. Last year I got the College’s IT department to make sure the TurningPoint software is installed on all of the  College PC’s. This has been done with the 2008 version. We will need to get this updated to the latest version asap. Perhaps more importantly is to get the TurningPoint Anywhere software installed http://www.turningtechnologies.com/index.cfm?AssetId=18&fuseaction=downloadform&SoftwareName=TurningPoint%20Anywhere%20PC%20%2D%20Install%20Version . The beauty of having this installed is that it would allow lecturers to use the clickers without any prepared (Powerpoint) questions. They could just ask questions in the lecturers or seminars on whether the students understood the topic or if they would like any further help or clarification. Earlier in the day I also introduced Paul (from TurningPoint) to Bryony our VLE Manger to talk about VLE integration, which is something else we  would like to trial. We also met up with Tim the Media Services Manager to discuss some further training for our Media Services technicians.

Step three is to provide more hands on help to the staff. The demos have been great for showing the potential but we need to provide some practical training sessions on how to build quizzes and tests in Powerpoint and then trying them out with clickers. I have now booked two sessions for the 14th November, one for the Psychology team and one for the Languages team to build their own quizzes for their own specific needs.

The final step will be next semester to get the lecturers who are actually doing the quizzes to do some demos to other members of staff….hopefully this will happen and generate even further interest in using them:)

Ps. there is also the ‘No Install’ version of the TurningPoint Anywhere which will be useful.