Who wants to be a Millionaire?

I went on an in-house training course on Turning Point on Thursday 22 May. Turning Point is a piece of software that measures audience response to a set of multiple choice questions. A bit like ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ except that you don’t get a chance to go 50:50 or phone a friend although you may be able to discuss the answer to a question in pairs.

Turning Point displays the question on the screen and the audience uses a keypad handset to record their chosen answer. The presenter needs to allow the audience time to think and consider their answer. Once the polling closes, the results are displayed on screen in the form of a pie chart. Reports can also be created analysing the results.

I can see how we can use this Turning Point software in our information skills programme in the following ways.
– It could be used for evaluation of information skills sessions to monitor how useful students found the sessions etc.
– It could be used to assess a student’s prior knowledge of a topic before the session, e.g. what is the library catalogue used for
– It could be used to check understanding after the session to assess what the student has learnt/retained.

There could be, however, some practical drawbacks in using the technology. The timing of our information skills sessions is quite tight with sessions lasting about one hour. There could be some difficulty in incorporating Turning Point feedback into a one hour session.

The second drawback I can see is a logistical problem of ensuring the software is set up and works in any training room we would use and ensuring there are enough keypad handsets available. I can’t see this being feasible during busy induction periods but could be possible with a more structured information skills programme, when we tend to use the same two or three training rooms.

For further information on Turning Point, go to the Turning Point website.

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