Electronic Voting Systems (EVS)
Systems (also known as Audience/Personal Response Systems) can be used within
lectures and classes to increase student engagement and promote a deep and
thoughtful approach to learning.
What EVS can do
The systems are simple in principle. You pose a question on the screen, and invite students to vote on this question. After polling is complete, you see a bar chart of the responses that were received.
However, they can be a very powerful teaching tool. Examples of ways that EVS can be used include:
- Diagnostic testing: find out what your students already know
- Contingent teaching: use the results of polls to change your teaching plans to deliver exactly what the audience needs
- Promoting class discussion: poll and ask for feedback on why different responses were chosen
- Peer instruction: Encourage students to discuss questions, convincing each other of the correctness of their answers
All of these uses have one common purpose: encouraging students to be actively thinking about their subject in lectures.
Locations where you can use EVS
UCL has made a substantial investment in the TurningPoint electronic voting system. This integrates neatly with PowerPoint, making designing voting questions straightforward (although it can also be used without Powerpoint on both PCs and Macs).
Three teaching spaces have voting installed permanently
- Harrie Massey LT
- Christopher Ingold Auditorium
- Cruciform LT1
Fig 1. Image of the handsets installed in the Auditorium
Using your own laptop?
In the Harrie Massey, Cruciform LT1 and the Christopher Ingold Auditorium there are additional USB Receivers installed for your own laptop. Look out for labelled USB cables:
Fig 2. USB Receiver cable
How to get the handsets
There are four ways to get hold of the handsets and receivers you need to start using voting in classes:
- The Cruciform LT1, Christopher Ingold Auditorium and Harrie Massey theatres have the handsets installed at each seat, and the receiver installed in the lecturn PC. Once you have prepared your slides you can just turn up and use them.
- Audio Visual have 450 handsets available for loan from the Kathleen Lonsdale Building. There are six boxes of 60 handsets, then boxes of 40, 30 and 20. Each box has its own receiver. You can borrow these to use with your own laptop in any venue you wish. Booking information at www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/staff/classrooms/av-centre
- E-Learning Environments (ELE) have issued departmental loans to some departments who are using voting extensively, particularly where they are away from the Bloomsbury Campus. These include Child Health, Educational Psychology (1-19 Torrington Place), Medical School (Whittington and Royal Free Hospital sites), Laws, Opthalmology and Population Health. For assistance, see contact points (log in required) for these sites.
- Some departments have their own stock. These include Biochemistry, Management Science and Information, and UCLU. For assistance, see contact points (log in required) for these sites.