TurningPoint (polling)

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TurningPoint is polling software that enables students to ‘vote’ or respond to questions in classrooms and lecture theatres using ‘clickers’ to make responses.

Using TurningPoint can help make teaching in classrooms and lecture theatres more active. It can be used, for example, to survey views, assess understanding, group revision, and to give learners more control of the content or pace of lectures.

TurningPoint can be used with PowerPoint (called PowerPoint Polling) or over the top of any other application, document or web page (called Anywhere Polling).


search for software center from start menu
type Software Center in the search field

To create TurningPoint questions and present these to students the instructor requires TurningPoint software. TurningPoint should already be installed on all classroom computers in UWE. If it is not installed on the classroom computer, please contact the FET IT Helpdesk. To install TurningPoint on your office computer click the start button on your PC and type ‘Software Center’ (note the US spelling of ‘Center’) in the search field then locate TurningPoint.


Students need a response device to answer the questions – either a hand-held ‘clicker’ (pictured at the top of this page).

‘Clickers’ are permanently installed on the desks in 2B020, 2B025, 2D67, 4B031, 1N05, 4Q56 and the ECC Lecture Theatre. To use TurningPoint in other spaces staff can borrow up to 60 clickers (and the USB dongle receiver) from FET Project Room in 2Q30.


Always prepare ahead of time. Creating questions and getting ready for polling takes some time so you will need to allow time for this, especially the first time you use TurningPoint.

The following list is from the Clicker Resource Guide.

1. Engage students in active learning:

Apply ideas/skills/problem solving immediately in class;
Predict outcomes;
Reason in new contexts;
Draw connections between ideas.

2. Promote student-student discussion

Create a collaborative spirit for supporting learning;
Practice justifying a position/responding to arguments;
Practice monitoring their own thinking;
Aid their learning of technical terminology by using it in discussion.

3. Provide feedback to the instructor about students understanding.

User guides and training material (for all versions of TurningPoint) are available from:

The ‘Clicker Resource Guide‘ is a good place to start to find out how to use clickers in classes and lectures, and it includes a recommended approach to using clickers, how to write effective questions and how to deal with unexpected situations.

Presentation delivered at the Plymouth e-Learning Conference, 23-24 April 2009:

Caldwell, J. E. (2007) Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best-Practice Tips. CBE Life Sciences Education vol. 6 no. 1 9-20.

Cliffe, E., Davenport, J., De Vos, M., Parmar, N. R. and Hayes, A.(2010) Using EVS and ResponseWare to Enhance Student Learning and Learning Experience. In: 11th Annual Conference of Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science, 2010-08-24 – 2010-08-26, Durham.

Davenport, J., Hayes, A. and Parmar, N. R. (2009) The use of an Electronic Voting System to enhance student feedback. In: Plymouth e-Learning Conference, 2009-04-23 – 2009-04-24, Plymouth.

Levesque, A. (2011) Using Clickers to Facilitate Development of Problem-Solving Skills.CBE Life Sciences Education vol. 10 no. 4

1 thought on “TurningPoint (polling)”

  1. I used Turning Point for my lectures in Hong Kong and there were the only effective way of getting student engagement in a culture that is very slow to raise a hand or ask a question in a group setting. They found seeing the results very amusing and it was a big impact to see their answers in relation to the class as a whole.
    The 60 handheld buttons and my own pre-tested laptop were needed to ensure the system worked, and they were just about small enough to carry the 12,000 miles.

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