How Clickers Work

How Clickers Work

To implement virtual clickers in your classroom, please write to

Iowa State University standardized on the TurningTechnologies audience response system which includes both the hardware (clickers and receivers) and software components. Clicker devices come in the shape of response cards (conventional clickers) and/or laptops, tablets and smartphones (virtual clickers).

The clicker software component called TurningPoint 5 (TP 5) serves to create interactive questions and demonstrate feedback results. TurningPoint integrates with MS Office PowerPoint or can be used independently of a presentation tool. Responseware, which turns participant web-enabled devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, etc. into virtual clickers, is part of TP 5.






*Smart devices


USB RF receiver


Turning Point 5

No software for students.
Use a conventional clicker device. Use a browser on a smart device. Apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry and Android.
TP 5 to author questions and collect feedback.
Responseware must be activated in TP 5 to allow using smart devices as virtual clickers.

TurningPoint 5

TurningPoint (TP) 5 is the software part of the TurningTechnologies audience response system at Iowa State University. TP 5 is a stand alone tool that allows polling with and without Microsoft Office PowerPoint (MS PP) and processing, tracking and uploading response data to a Blackboard Learn course.


  • TurningPoint 5 is a cross-platform tool that can be used on Windows and OS X machines.
  • TP 5 allows access to all polling modes, content and data management from the same interface.
  • It uses the integration with Blackboard Learn to download and update student participant information and upload polling data back to a Bb Learn course.
  • It features a robust html content editor for authoring question lists with support for pictures and special characters.
  • It acts as a spreadsheet for tracking overall averages and individual student scores via a participant monitor.
  • It allows viewing and printing reports without generating them first as comma-delimited files.

See the online support resources for TP 5 in order to familiarize yourself with the workings of the program.

How to implement clickers in a classroom

  • Decide why clickers must be used for teaching and learning in your class.
  • Request that University BookStore orders clickers for your students to purchase with their textbooks. A clicker will be used by your students across courses for the duration of their undergraduate careers. It might be that your students already own clickers from previous courses.
  • Request an instructor clicker kit from CELT by emailing at
  • Download the clicker software component on your machine and learn the software basics. Alternatively, email to schedule an individual appointment.
  • Practice before class.