Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slight Enhancements to the Basic TurningPoint Slide

At this point, we should know how to create a basic TurningPoint slide, at the bare minimum. However, there are more basic results that we can discuss with respect to the slides, and this post will address those. When we discussed the TurningPoint toolbar/ribbon, slides also have the potential to include various object types. Some of these object types will be included. Other slide types not discussed thus far will also be included.

Previously, we have focused on slide questions that have a definitive correct answer among a group of choices. However, it is perfectly reasonable to include opinion-based slides, in the form of Likert-based opinions of 4, 5, or 7 options. There are also True/False, Yes/No, and Yes/No/Abstain slide types. As a general template, you can specify a 2-10 answer slide, which may correspond to either definitive answers or opinions.

Suppose, for instance, that you are using TurningPoint clickers in your classroom, and your audience has never before experienced how to use them. Luckily, TurningPoint offers 'Ice Breaker' slides in the form of either analogies or word scrambles. Ice breaker slides are considered to be a best practice by Turning Technologies. It auto-generates an analogy for you, should you choose. If, on the other hand, you choose a word scramble, then you would choose which word (greater than two letters) to scramble. Every other letter is then taken out, and each answer choice represents potentials for the missing letters. The following image portrays the word scramble, with the word choice corresponding to 'Pennsylvania.'

TurningPoint offers many other slide types to use, several of which correlate with teams. Examples include assigning a team, team leaders, point wager slides, fastest responders, and others. Future posts will touch base with these more advanced slide types.

As I have said, there are various objects specific to a TurningPoint presentation that may be used. I will focus on four here, namely 'Answer Now,' 'Countdown,' 'Response Counter,' and 'Correct Answer Indicator.' Since these types of objects are enhanced versions of PowerPoint objects, you have the ability to format them in the same exact way (such as to conform to a color theme you have chosen).

The 'Answer Now' object type makes use of a fairly straightforward idea. With twelve variations, 'Answer Now' objects are a good way to let your audience know when you expect them to answer a question, and helps to set apart your TurningPoint slide from a PowerPoint slide.

When paired up with a 'Countdown' object, the audience will know exactly how much time they have before polling of an answer will be closed. The time can be specified by the presenter, and a default value can be changed within the TurningPoint settings. Eleven variations allow for a customizable timer.

In contrast to counting down time, you also have the ability to count up with respect to the number of responses received. Six variations provide a visual indication for how many participants have provided an answer. This visual indication works for not just the presenter, but other audience members as well.

Lastly, the 'Correct Answer Indicator' helps your audience members know which answer was correct given a definitive list of choices. After the answer polling is finished, when the results are displayed to the presenter and audience, a visual is displayed to indicate which of the choices correlate with the correct answer. If using an opinion-based polling, then one may still use the indicator to specify what the presenter chose as his or her choice.

This post sought to portray some of the slight enhancements one can make with a TurningPoint slide. Some of these enhancements also include best practices to use within a presentation. Future posts will add on to the explanations provided here, with more focus toward some particular result.

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