ResponseWare Seminar – Session Summary

TurningPointResponseWare: The Web-Based Facility for Audience Response

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Cris Burgess photoDamien Mansell










Cris Burgess is Senior Lecturer/Deputy Director of Education, and Damien Mansell is a Lecturer in Physical Geography.

Building on Cris and Damien’s experiences of using TurningPoint ResponseWare technology, a facility which enables students to interact with PowerPoint slides, this seminar explored the benefits of using this software to enhance learning.

Key points from the session include:

  • ResponseWare is a web-based facility that allows students with any Wi-Fi-enabled device (such as a laptop or smartphone) to participate in a lecture poll.
  • ResponseWare enables lecturers to ask particular types of questions at certain points during their lecture, which can be very helpful, because it allows student feedback at specific points to be generated.
  • The software enables direct, meaningful engagement and interaction in lectures, as PowerPoint slides are set up to allow conditional branching at specific points, allowing students to guide the lecture’s direction.
  • The format responses take can either be numbered answers or longer written responses.
  • Through conducting a poll, for example, students are provided with a choice of what they would like to study next, enabling the lecturer to focus on those topics that are of key importance to students; a tool which is particularly helpful in structuring revision sessions.
  • ResponseWare can therefore be used to set the tone of the learning environment. For instance, Cris finds that rather than directly asking students a question such as “How much can you remember from last year?”, polling through ResponseWare enables students to be more open and honest about areas they are finding harder to remember or grasp, because it creates a safer learning space.


  • The University has 5000 licences for this facility and it is available for use across all University campuses.
  • You can set up your own use through contacting Rob Coffey in E-learning, in EQE.
  • You need to install TurningPoint on your own laptop/computer, in order to set up the correct slides prior to a lecture.
  • You will also need to ensure you register each session you run within ResponseWare prior to the session. You must use your full email address and TurningPoint password, and always remember to allow guests to access the session.


       1. What about for students without a Wi-Fi-enabled device?

This has not been a huge problem, but do take some clickers with you just in case some students do not have a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet or phone. There is no need to carry bags of clickers to a session (like before).

       2. How does this work for large scale use. For example with about 150 students?

So far, there have been no major problems with using the software in larger class sizes. For example, Cris has used this software with over 200 responses, with it only taking 30-40 seconds for each answer to come in.

More Information:

If you would like to hear more about the possibilities of using ResponseWare, Cris has been invited to run the session again at the St Luke’s Campus later this academic year. For more information and dates, please visit the ASPIRE website.

Further detail and information can also be found on both the CLES Technology Enhanced Learning ELE page and EQE ResponseWare website.

If you have any other questions, please do ask them here, or contact Rob Coffey, Cris Burgess or Damien Mansell.

Additional Resources:

Cris Burgess and Damien Mansell’s PowerPoint – ResponseWare


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