Electronic Voting Systems (EVS)
What are Electronic Voting Systems?
Electronic Voting 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.
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
The latter method has been developed by Eriz Mazur, Professor of Physics at Harvard. You can find out more in a short YouTube clip.
All of these uses have one common purpose: encouraging students to be actively thinking about their subject in lectures.
Electronic voting systems at UCL
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 (New for Autumn 2012)
- Harrie Massey LT
- Christopher Ingold Auditorium
- Cruciform LT1
Image of the handsets installed in the Auditorium
Using your own laptop?
In the Harrie Massy and the Christopher Ingold Auditorium there are additional USB Receivers installed for your own laptop (Cruciform TBC). Look out for labelled USB cables:
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/mediares/av
- 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. Log in to the private page below to see contact points for these sites.
- Some departments have their own stock. These include Biochemistry, Management Science and Information, and UCLU. Log in to the private page below to see contact points for these sites.
Staff development and support
ELE is happy to provide 1:1 and small group support. In particular we can usually offer to support staff the first time they use voting in action, which can provide much reassurance and confidence. We are also happy to advise on ways in which EVS can be used within teaching and on the design of effective voting questions.
Contacts and downloads (UCL users only)
Contact points for the departments listed above and software downloads for using UCL's electronic voting system are available on the private page. You will need to use your UCL username and password to log in to this page.
Page last modified on 09 may 13 13:12