Right now – SBU is using Turning Point Cloud for clickers in our classrooms. As of tomorrow (May 31st), Turning Technologies will be releasing a new version of the software called Turning Point 8. It will show up as a download from your instructor user account through Turning Technologies:
Turning Point 8 is NOT backwards compatible. Any assessment and quizzes made with Turning Point 8 will NOT work in our classrooms and lecture halls. (See above in the screen shot where it says “Before you download, please check with your institution…”)
The new version also will not be compatible with loading grades into blackboard until we decide to switch to the new version… so even if you only teach with your own laptop, you will not want to use anything but Turning Point Cloud at this time.
Turning Technologies will last a few more seasons, but Fall 2014 will be the year when they jumped the shark. It’s too close to the advent of newer methods of student responses for such a large hiccup. Really a shame they couldn’t have gone out more peacefully.
I’m happy to say that it is supposed to work much better this spring. (Installing the new version on my computer as we speak.) You can check to see if you have the newest version by opening up your application, then clicking on the TurningPoint Cloud logo at the bottom on the screen. A window will appear and one of the buttons is Check for Updates.
Before you even answer a poll in class… how many icons are on your screen? Does it look like this?
It shouldn’t. This is the Send Message mode. Theoretically it is for asking the instructor questions during polling – but no one uses it really, and the messages you send go into a weird report that they never really have a reason to look at, so they won’t be seen.
It should look like this:
To get out of Send Message mode… you must hit that back arrow in the lower left corner.
These are clips from many different educators talking about the use of open book student assessments.
…more significantly would allow students to trade information with each other throughout the test in ways which would be extremely difficult to monitor.
“With new technologies, new cognitive possibilities arise. Educators need to create new activities when new technologies are introduced into the classroom. If the calculator is used to add 2+2, it is the capacities of the calculator that are solving the problem; when calculation is “off-loaded” onto the calculator, the student is free to solve more complex problems.” – Jenkins, 2009
classes have moved away from traditional tests and towards project based and/or essay based exams.
Gamify the test?
exam duration is set to match the time necessary to answer the questions, without much slack.
demonstrate mastery of their art through practice
“for today’s graduates into the digital age, possession of knowledge is far less important than the acquisition, analysis, and synthesis of that knowledge”.
We use clickers with an LMS – namely Blackboard (9.1.110082.0).
When you use an LMS, you need to register your online Turning Technology account with your school email address and indicate that you are either an instructor or a student.
Once registered as a student you can not start the TurningPoint Cloud program. So, if you have to use clickers for a class – and you have to run the software because you are a TA, you will need to use a non-university email to register as an instructor. You won’t be able to sync anything like your roster, because the email address isn’t associated with your LMS.
No explanation has been giving for why allowing students to run the program is such a bad thing.
Once registered as an instructor, you can not register a clicker.
The instructions for how to use your license code that come in the box with a new clicker, contain instructions that are for students that do not use an LMS. Following them can result in needing Turning Technologies’s support people to assist.
Courses that have rosters of more than 400 people cannot successfully connect with the Turning Technologies server without experiencing a time out. This goes for downloading the participant list and also for uploading grades. Turning Technologies currently is manually delivering the participant lists to our instructors via a support account that has been entered into those classes as a TA or Instructor. They are working on this and need to fix it.Fixed by software update from company. On the other hand, maybe not. they are blaming our Blackboard “trafficking” on server time out issues.
Courses with large enrollments also getting server errors when attempting to start responseware.Fixed by software update from company. ??
During the first two days of class, students were receiving messages when trying to register saying that the code was invalid – but this was only because their server was over welmed. Apparently it was actually taking the license. If a student tried again later, they would get a this code has already been used error.
Due to the tightening of security on the turningpoint system, session files and participant lists can no longer just be shared with another person by dragging it out of the folder and attaching to an email or shared drive space. (Note course coordinators!) These files must now be exported with a password that you then share with whomever you want to be able to open the file.
Also note previous post: http://you.stonybrook.edu/jadams/2014/08/26/turningpoint-cloud-is-damaged-and-cant-be-opened-you-should-move-it-to-the-trash/
There is no longer a lookup device IDs for students who have registered in the Cloud only. I used to use the Device ID lookup tool quite often to assist with Lost and Found devices.
Using RemotePoll for remote clicker sessions (we use it mostly for courses where we have more students than we can fit into one room. In this case we would stream the video into a second room and setup remote poll so that the students in the overflow room can still participate with the clickers), is now only between two windows machines over direct IP. It used to have to be on a windows box in the remote room, but could be mac on the presenter machine.
I will update this as issues are resolved. Our classes started on 8/25/14.
This Fall, Turning Technologies is changing their software to a cloud based registration system. This doesn’t change it’s functionality for it’s use in the classroom or class preparation, and the software is already available online here:
As an instructor, be sure to create a turning account that is an “Instructor” account.
We are still using Turningpoint 5 till the end of the Summer II session, and therefore do not have the new building block for the cloud version installed on Blackboard. (Getting a roster/uploading grades will not work in TurningPoint Cloud till the Fall semester.) Just tried – and you can get your roster from the new software with the current production server of Blackboard.
The only difference in functionality is that we are allowing the use of ResponseWare for iOS/Android/web. This will allow students to use their smart device or laptop instead of a physical clicker — if you allow it. There are things to consider beforehand; like whether you want them using their devices in the classroom, the fact that they can poll in from remote locations (with assistance from a student in the class feeding them info), possible saturation of our wireless infrastructure and possible lack of cell service penetration.
Call me if you have any questions and here is a video showing how to download the new software and create your cloud account:
Attending the Summer Institute here on campus this week, primarily in the role of technology support and as a representative of TLT, was a really great experience. There were many informative presentations given to prime the participating faculty for the workshop work that they would be diving into, including one given by Jennifer Frederick from Yale University’s Center for Scientific Teaching. The possibly confusing point here, is that while these Summer Institute sessions are all aimed at the departments involved in STEM education, and so therefore you are addressing a room filled with Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Computer Scientists, Chemists, Engineers, etc…. “scientific teaching’ is not about teaching science, but rather teaching using effective methods that have been proven using scientific methodology.
It makes a lot of sense. These are primarily researchers. Don’t stand in front of them and tell them what they are doing wrong in the classroom and how to change it. Show them what years of data have to say about different aspects and strategies in teaching. Show them where they can find out data about the schools that their students are coming from (a great reason to hold these events at an individual institution or region is how you can really drill down to local issues – did you know that no schools in the Bronx even offer Physics in high school? (other than a charter school that doesn’t count because the students that go to that school don’t actually live in the Bronx)).
As soon as studies and data started to be presented to the faculty participating, I could feel them losing up and the defences coming down. They became more comfortable and realized that they were home among their peers.
Structure of the Summer Institutes
Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, and discussions
Work in small groups to develop instructional materials for a general topic area
Design and adapt instructional materials that integrate active learning, assessment, and diversity and that have clear learning goals
Present and revise instructional materials based on fellow participants’ review and feedback
Three tenets of scientific teaching were explored everyday.
Active Learning (or Teaching)
Common activity teaching techniques that were demonstrated and then used in the faculty presentations included:
Think – Pair – Share
Student Response Systems (traditional clickers and low tech response cubes)
POE (Predict Observe Explain)
IMHO the event went very well and CESAME did a great job bring it to SBU. I hope everyone involved was happy with the outcomes and that the participants feel a bit revitalized the next time they are stepping into a classroom.
Here is a draft of a low tech clicker I am bring to the Summer Institute on Undergraduate STEM Education the week of July 7th.
When assembled, the students will have a cube that allows them to chose from 6 possible answers. The instructor in the room can easily see where the students are at by quickly scanning the colors being displayed. It is also possible to show student confidence by encouraging them to hold them high if they are very confident and lower if less so.