Thomas Jefferson University

NearPod (Audience Response System)

For classes with students using iPads we recommend using the NearPod application. This app allows you to easily upload an existing PowerPoint presentation and add activities slides (polls, quizzes, drawings). With NearPod, student iPad screens update screen by screen as you advance through your presentation. You can share back summary screens of results or show the entry provided by an individual student. NearPod results can also be exported at the end of the session so you can even use it for short quizzes with the score results appearing in Blackboard.

NearPod is licensed individually to each instructor or event presenter. Jefferson's university license supports up to 300 participants in each session. Students are encouraged to download the free NearPod application to their iPads during orientation. The presenter dashboard is web-based, no special software needs to be installed. NearPod will not import existing TurningPoint polls; they will need to be re-created, but the process is very easy.

NearPod is entirely cloud-based. There is no need to reserve special equipment with AV Services.

To get started with NearPod, or for NearPod support, contact our Educational Technology support team at: (215) 503-2830.

NOTE: Technical support for the TurningPoint ARS has been discontinued and The Academic Commons is not supporting any current development of TurningPoint presentations. 

Does a show of hands intimidate your audience?

Do you need to review a large number of questions to prepare your class for finals or credentialing exams?

Do you think your class enrollment is too big to be interactive?

An Audience Response System may be just what you need. An ARS allows your students to participate in lectures by submitting responses to interactive questions using a keypad or other hand-held computer device. These systems include small hand-held units (about the size of a credit card), a transceiver that collects the responses, and a computer application to organize the results.

Using an ARS can help you better assess how well your students understand the material you're presenting.

  • Ask questions of your audience and immediately project a compilation of their responses on a large public screen.
  • Tap your audience's feelings, opinions, beliefs, and knowledge--then engage them in a discussion of the results.
  • Gauge how well your message is being received, as well as stimulate discussions with your audience on the materials you are presenting.

Audience Response Systems have been popular for CE/CME use for several years and a few journal articles have been written about their use. These articles report that the audience feels more involved in the learning process, finds the presentation more interesting and scores higher on questions asked following presentations using an ARS than the same presentation without it.