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
  • Icebreakers
  • A-level revision at the start of a first year module
  • Induction
  • 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.

Further information

You can contact ltt.support@uea.ac.uk or phone ext 3001with any particular questions or requests for training and support.