Student response systems

What are they?

A student response system (SRS) is a technology used in face-to-face teaching scenarios to facilitate interactivity, enhance feedback processes on multiple levels, and collect data from students. TurningPoint is a leading commercial student response system that is widely used at the University of Bristol. It is quick and easy for novice users to introduce basic practices into their teaching, and there is an excellent range of advanced features for those wishing to do more. See the page on educational practice for more information on different practices and their benefits. 

Other terms used for SRS include: 

  • audience response
  • personal response
  • e-voting
  • clickers 

How does TurningPoint work? 

Each student is given a small, handheld wireless keypad. When a question appears on the main screen (typically within a PowerPoint presentation) they use their keypad to submit their response. A USB receiver plugged into the presenter's computer collates responses, and the software instantaneously displays the results on the main screen for all to see. At the end of the session the results are saved into the PowerPoint file, and can be exported for reference and analysis. TurningPoint can also be used to record results, generate reports, identify participants, manage teams, and run competitions. 

Use of students' personal devices

TurningPoint ResponseWare enables students to respond to polls using their personal devices. However, the University does not currently have a general license to use this. 

If you wish to use students' personal devices rather than TurningPoint keypads, as well as ResponseWare there are several other student response systems available, such as Poll Everywhere and Socrative. These all use browser-based software and require a wireless network to be available. Some also allow students to send a response through a text message. While these are not currently supported at the University of Bristol, some are being trialled in parts of the University. If you are interested in trying these out, please get in touch with the SRS Group and SRS Support Network, who would be very interested to hear about your plans and experiences. 

Note: Some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader