Case study: Interactive lectures and richer feedback on assignments: combining OneNote with TurningPoint AnyWhere and Jing


Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
University of Bristol


Dr Mike Barton,

Tools used

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Enhancing the student experience and understanding through rich interactive feedback and lecture materials.


Microsoft OneNote is a powerful, yet somewhat underused, programme (part of MS Office) which offers a range of features including the ability to annotate. TurningPoint AnyWhere is a flexible version of the “clicker” e-voting software. Jing is a free screencasting application that allows recording of whatever is on your computer screen. Combining these two with OneNote provides staff with a method to create rich, engaging, detailed, interactive feedback and lecture materials.

What was done


Digital Circuits and Systems (EENG14000) is an introductory first year unit in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, with approximately 100 students. Students are directed to sections of the textbook to read in advance of each lecture. Lectures are then used to further explain particularly difficult concepts and work through problems. E-voting tools are used to check student understanding, to identify problem areas and for progress tests. More information on this aspect of the teaching is available in another case study. Prior to the lecture, textbook figures are printed to OneNote, using the “Send to Onenote” print option. This effectively places the material onto a canvas.

During the lecture, OneNote is used in conjunction with a tablet PC and stylus to allow annotation of the figures to aid explanation (illustrated in the screenprint at the top of this page). TurningPoint AnyWhere, through its floating toolbar, allows multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to be presented as required. These can be pre-written into OneNote or created on the fly. At the end of the lecture, the OneNote file is exported as a pdf, complete with annotations, and uploaded to Blackboard so that students have a record of what happened in the lecture. It is possible also to include the e-voting screenshots that are captured automatically by TurningPoint AnyWhere.


Student work is submitted online and then printed to OneNote. It is then annotated using a tablet PC with stylus, and audio-visual feedback is recorded using Jing, saved as a Flash video file (.swf), and returned to the student. Jing limits video recordings to 5 minutes, which encourages focussed feedback. The total time taken, including saving to OneNote, annotating, recording and saving, is comparable to conventional marking, but the student receives more detailed and richer feedback. Other useful features of OneNote include a good search facility, the ability to easily insert video and audio, and synching, e.g. after working offline.


Student feedback has been very positive. Comments include:

  • “I think it’s better than written feedback as it is easier to understand the steps that should be taken to improve the work.”
  • “It has been good to hear the reaction of the marker.”
  • “Again, a brilliant technique and a time-saving one too! Provides much more detail than just a mark ... and is very useful as we can revisit the comments again and again. FAR more effective than a written report and the helpfulness of revisiting the comments is great.”

Further information