Incorporating voting into lectures

It is important to decide on a handful of key messages that you would like your audience to take away with them. The questions that you throw out to the audience should focus on these areas and should be challenging.

There are several ways that this system can be used within a lecture:

  1. Self assessment questions providing formative feedback to the students and the lecturer (here is a discussion of the design of self assessment questions).
  2. Posing "brain teasers" to promote group discussion (Boyle & Nicol of Strathclyde University describe the use of brain teasers ).
  3. Providing instant evaluation feedback on the lecture to the lecturer (e.g. Was this lecture good, bad, indifferent etc.).
  4. Promote deep learning (Tomorrow's Professor article)

Need some help writing MCQs? See this blog post from Tomorrow's Professor mailing list.

Moreover, a very important consideration is how you intend to respond to the feedback provided via the system. This can vary from a short discussion to point out reasoning behind the correct answer; to running an entirely interactive and flexible lecture where the material covered and the questions presented depend entirely on the feedback gained at each stage.

There are also other innovative uses to which these systems can be put, e.g. running experiments based on human responses (See this discussion of pedagogical question formats).

- Why use e-voting? (video training)
- Creating e-voting questions (video training)
- Delivering an e-voting session (video training)


- Dr. David Lewis' presentation on his own use of e-voting (given at Hands on the Future, 2011)
- Using e-voting with interactive tablets in face-to-face sessions (video)
- Paul Arnold and Dragos Ciobanu's ALT-C 2010 presentation on embedding e-voting into the design of the face-to-face element of a module; an example of how e-voting has been embedded in a blended learning approach to teaching 3rd year Healthcare Radiology students at the University of Leeds:

Further information

Using classroom communication systems to support interaction and discussion in large class settings by James Boyle & David Nicol - a paper describing the benefits achieved by the innovative use of electronic voting at the University of Strathclyde.

Active collaborative learning - University of Strathclyde - this case study for JISC also has a video of how InterWrite PRS (now Response) has been used at the University of Strathclyde.

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