Turning Technologies

Guides – step by step help in getting started with TurningPoint

Durham University has been using Turning Technologies voting systems for the last 11 years. Initially we purchased sets of “clickers” – physical handsets with ten numbered buttons (braille versions were also available). These are still in use and allow lecturers to add voting questions within a Powerpoint presentation. Staff launch their presentation using the TurningPoint 8 software, so students can vote/provide feedback, with the responses appearing on screen as a graph. The down-side to the clickers is that they have to be handed out at the start of a lecture and collected in again at the end. Sometimes too, batteries go flat or the clicker channel needs changed to avoid interference with other users/re-synch it with your voting kit. Please note that you need a TurningPoint licenced account to use TurningPoint 8 with the clickers.

The University reviewed the sustainability of physical handsets and undertook a year long pilot in 2015-16 exploring the option to supplement or replace the physical clickers with a mobile app (TurningPoint 8). Several departments were involved. The feedback was very positive and so approval was given to make this mobile-app based solution available to all academics for their teaching. We are now into our third year of contract with the Vendor to bring you this solution in your teaching.

STAFF – Learning How to Use TurningPoint

View Powerpoint Voting User Guides View Video Tutorials Find Online Training Sessions

STUDENTS – Learning How to Use TurningPoint

Please read the following FAQ’s


FAQs about using TurningPoint

How do Students respond to polling questions?

Students can use any browser to respond to TurningPoint questions simply by going to the following web page:

https://responseware.turningtechnologies.eu or use the shortened url https://bit.ly/2RZ8G9W.

Students can also use the TurningPoint app on a mobile device which is available in the following stores:

Older Version of TurningPoint (7.5)

TurningPoint 7 is no longer available on University managed machines and instead you should be using TurningPoint 8 which is available on the AppHub for all users – but remember you need a licence to run a TurningPoint session.

If you have TurningPoint 7 installed on a personal machine – please uninstall it and download and replace it with TurningPoint 8.  To do this login to your TurningPount account via https://instructor.turningtechnologies.eu and go the downloads section.

nxt-receiver-240Note that once you use TurningPoint 8 with a TurningPoint receiver – the receiver is automatically upgraded to TurningPoint 8.  This is a simple quick process and only happens once.

Please note that presentations created in TuringPoint 7 will recognise the new version of the software and run in TurningPoint 8 but you cannot run a presentation created in TurningPoint 8 with the TurningPoint 7 software – which is why it is important that we are all using the same version.

How do I login?

Please remember only licenced Staff members can login if you have applied for an account via the itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk – do not create an account from this screen as you will not be given licences to use with your students. Note: When we set up an account for you it will use your durham email address as your login name and you will be sent an email to activate the account and for oyu to create a password (please do not use your CIS password) – see the FAQ on getting an account

When you access this site you will see a page prompting you to enter your email address and offering you two choices – Create an account or Sign in – always choose the Sign In option:

Enter your Durham email address. Click the button Sign In then enter the password you set up when you authenticated your account.

Please follow good information security practice and ensure this is different to your normal University password. After this, you will be taken to the standard opening page.

How do I get the session ID to appear on my question slides?

From the TurningPoint tool bar click on the Antenna icon that shows the text “Show/hide Connection info”


If you are using TurningPoint on your own laptop you may wish to set this in the “Preferences” option within the TurningPoint software so that it always shows.

From the Preferences screen that appears – under the heading “Presentation” tick the box next to “Automatically display connection information” and then click on Close.


Downloading the Mobile App

This is free and available in the following app stores:

I am a student – do I need a TurningPoint account?

No students do not need accounts, nor should you try and create one.  Even if you created an account you would not have a licence in which to use it appropriately.

All you need is a device that will required you to download the TurningPoint app from the Apple or Google Play stores or alternatively a web browser in a device of your choice.

Setting up Default Session settings

When you login to your TurningPoint Account click on the Settings button from the top menu bar then change the drop down options for First Name, Last Name, User ID and Email to “Hidden” – your students will then never be prompted to add any identifiable data.  It is current University policy for this software to not ask students to identify themselves.  Once you click on save this will make this option apply to all the sessions that you run.

The next setting you can set is that of a Reserved session ID – something that you may find useful to use with your students rather than a unique 6-8 digit number being used for each session.  It will only let you use a specific session ID if no other user has already chosen it.  You may find your students find this a useful thing to have – such as coursecode, ie ANTH1011 or FredB etc.  You can have up to 10 session IDs saved.

What could TurningPoint be used for?

This technology provides several pedagogical affordances:

  • Active Learning – it allows you to incorporate knowledge checks throughout a presentation to monitor students’ understanding.
  • Game-Based Learning – Encourage students to challenge themselves through individual or team competitions.
  • Positive Reinforcement – The process of posing a question followed by displaying the correct answer and subsequent discussion helps students to leave the session knowing what was the correct answer to your question and why. You can also assess students before and after discussion to measure progress and retention.
  • Peer Instruction – providing students with concept tests you’ve designed to expose common difficulties in understanding the material, and asking them to think of their own answer, before discussing it with their peers, before the right answer is finally revealed (See Eric Mazur‘s work in this area).
  • Eliminate Conformity – You can use clickers to collect students’ views anonymously, rather than asking them to raise their hand. This is likely to lead to more honest responses to sensitive/difficult/controversial conversations and avoid the risk of people simply copying early responders.
Benefits of using TurningPoint

You can use TurningPoint in several ways. The most common is to incorporate prepared interactive questions within PowerPoint presentations, but it can also be used to poll your audience on-the-fly, or indeed alongside any other application to deliver questions, or in a special self-paced mode designed for surveys, evaluations and tests.

  • Many Ways to Engage – Assess learning in the moment, use self-paced assessments and evaluate all your students’ responses immediately.
  • Poll Everyone, Everywhere – Engage with every student. Gather feedback and assess understanding both in lecture theatres and amongst distance learners using the app throughout your presentation.
  • Ask More Questions – Use short answer and essay questions to provide a deeper look at understanding and display the collected data in useful ways.
  • Versatile Response Options – Allow students to respond with clickers and/or any web-enabled device via the ResponseWare app – in the same location.
  • Personalise Instruction – Adapt material in real-time based on students’ understanding and knowledge. Gather detailed reports to remediate on your materials’ effectiveness and analyse their impact.
Setting up Reserved Session IDs

When you login to your TurningPoint Account click on the Settings button from the top menu bar and located the Reserved Session ID section. Once you click on save this will make this option apply to all the sessions that you run.

You can set up a Reserved session ID – something that you may find useful to use with your students rather than a unique 6-8 digit number being used for each session. It will only let you use a specific session ID if no other user has already chosen it. You may find your students find this a useful thing to have – such as coursecode, ie ANTH1011 or FredB etc. You can have up to 10 session IDs saved.

Where is the software?

All teaching machines (Windows 10) have TurningPoint 8 installed under the App Hub. Remember you need a licenced account to use this software.

You can freely install the TurningPoint software your own machines (home/personal machines). If you login to your TurningPoint account
http://instructor.turningtechnologies.eu and click the ‘Downloads‘ link at the top that will give you access to the Downloads area – note you may be prompted for more user information the first time you do this.

Important – Setting the Correct Region

The first time you open the software you are prompted to choose a region.

It is very important that you choose the “Europe/Africa/Middle East/Russia” region – as the region cannot be changed after it is set and the default is “North/South America”.

When downloading the App – you need to also set the “Europe/Africa/Middle East/Russia” region as well for the system to talk to each other.

How do I get a TP Account to use in my teaching?

Accounts are only needed by Teaching Staff – not students.

To get an account please email itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk with “TurningPoint Account Request” in the subject field.

Please do not go direct to Turning Technologies website and request an account nor click on the create an account button when you open the TurningPoint software from the App Hub, as that will not give you the appropriate licences.

Once an Account has been requested via Turning Technologies you will get an email from them asking you to activate the account and create a password (not your CIS one) then when you open up TurningPoint if you see “500 Seats” showing at the top – you are good to go.

This is an example of the email you will receive:


Use the Set Password link in the email to associate your own password to the account.

Things to watch

Check the Teaching Machine
Please ensure that you go and locate the Teaching Machine ahead of your teaching session and ensure that you can access TurningPoint from the App Hub. You may wish to swop the teaching machine with your own laptop which is fine. If the machine, for any reason, does not have the App Hub or the TurningPoint 8 software then please send an email to itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk with the machine number and urgently request it to be made available. This should only affect machines in a limited number of places that do not have the University Managed Desktop.

App Region Settings
Please ensure that the TurningPoint 8 App settings are set to use the EU Region otherwise students can’t participant in the session.

Old Presentations
Please ensure that you check your Powerpoint presentation well before your session. If you have a very old presentation it may take some time to update itself to work with the new software – you don’t want to be standing in front of your students when this happens!

Details of the latest TurningTechnology releases are available from this feed.


OR Verdict

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REVIEW DATE: October 2019
PRODUCT: TurningPoint 8