What is an audience response system?An audience response system promotes interaction between the presenter and audience (and between people in the audience). The system itself consists of a USB receiver that plugs into your computer and handsets with which your audience can vote on questions posed as part of a PowerPoint presentation, the results of which are immediately displayed as a graph.
As such the audience response system allows for effective audience participation and can be used for a range of purposes both with students and with other audiences. The response data can be saved and analysed later.
What are the benefits/advantages?
Taken with permission from University of Leeds e-voting website
Benefits to the students:
- Encouragement to actively think about the material being presented improving depth of learning and retention time
- Anonymity provided by the system encourages all to participate
- Immediate feedback given on their own understanding, as well as the possibility of benchmarking themselves against their peers
- Attending lectures becomes more interesting and fun.
Benefits to the lecturer:
- Can quickly gain a clearer understanding of the level of comprehension in the audiences
- Allows the lecturer to tailor their presentation to meet the unique needs of each audience
- Encourages attendance for particularly 'dry' subjects
- Facilitates constructive discussion between the students themselves and also between lecturer and the students.
Some ideas for how it might support learning
- Catalyst for discussion and debate
- Method to check student understanding either as a single snapshot or at the beginning and end of a session/series.
- Gathering student feedback/opinion
- Formative assessment
- A-level revision at the start of a first year module
- Outreach events (including x-factor style votes for competition entries/teams)
- UCAS days and open days
- Peer assessment
- Collecting survey data e.g. in psychology, politics, physiology, medicine, economics etc., thus demonstrating a phenomenon that is being taught.
- Contingent teaching
- Establishing needs and priorities
- Method for engaging students and enabling interaction particularly in large group teaching.
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