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.
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
The Turnitin software is installed on the UCL desktop, so you can use the software in any teaching room that has UCL desktop on the 'presenter' machine.
There are three teaching spaces that have voting handsets installed permanently
- Harrie Massey LT
- Christopher Ingold Auditorium
- Cruciform LT1
Fig 1. Image of the handsets installed in the Auditorium
For all rooms you will need to borrow a set of voting handsets (see 'How to get the handsets' below)
Using your own laptop?
If you want to use your own laptop, you will need to download the Turningpoint software on to it. (See the Software Downloads Page)
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
For all other rooms, plug the Turningpoint receiver directly in to your laptop.
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. 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 can be made using the online AV form, please click here to be taken to it. Booking information is available at Audio-visual Centre webpage. Please note: You will need to check that all handsets are on the correct channel. Instructions to do this can be found at Voting Devices and connectivity. Please also make sure that all the handsets are on the correct channel before you return them to AV
- Digital Education 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, please contact the department directly.
Please note: the Ombea Trial expired in September 2016 and there are no plans to renew this for the academic session 16/17.