Coming this fall to WPI…new options for student response!

Filed in In the Classroom, Tools for Teaching by on June 28, 2011

Many faculty and students on campus have requested that WPI look into the possibility of using a virtual clicker system in the classroom.  Virtual “clickers” allow students to use a mobile device (Smartphone, Cellphone, Laptop, Tablet, etc) to respond to questions posed by the instructor.

The TTL team has completed a review of products that are currently available.  Based on the feedback we’ve received from faculty and students, we were looking for a system that:

1.  Is easy to use, not a classroom distraction.

2.  Has a physical clicker option (for those who do not allow mobile devices in the classroom).

3.  Is of low cost to students.

4.  Integrates with our Learning Management System (even if not used for formal assessment, it’s nice to import a class list).

We evaluated 4 different products based on these measures, and as a result are recommending Turning Point Technology’s Response Card/ResponseWare system, used with the Turning Point or Turning Point Anywhere software, and we would like to set up a pilot for the fall terms.

For the instructor, Turning Point Anywhere software runs on top of any application you are using (PowerPoint, MatLab, etc), and allows for Multiple Choice or Open Ended response questions.  Questions can be prepared ahead of time, or asked on-the-fly (TP takes a screenshot with the question for later reference if needed).  Results reports can be exported to a Comma Separated Value (.csv) file or uploaded directly to myWPI.

Student Response Device Options
For the student, TP has a variety of response device options.  If a student has an internet-enabled device, they can purchase a ResponseWare license for $14 (6 months) or $19 (1 year), which enables them to log in to respond in any class.  For those without a Smartphone, tablet, or laptop (or for those in classes where these devices are not necessarily welcome), Turning Point provides two clicker options:  the ResponseCard NXT ($40) allows for multiple choice and open-ended response questions, while the ResponeCard RF-LCD ($32) allows for only multiple choice.*

If you are interested in learning more about the system, please contact us at atc-ttl@wpi.edu.  We are happy to go through a short demo, or send you more information to review/explore on your own over the summer.  We’ll be offering some training sessions this fall, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!  Check out http://www.wpi.edu/Regi for training options.

*Prices as of Summer 2011 and are subject to change.

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Instructional Technology Specialist at WPI

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