Encourage involvement

The use of live voting systems in (online) face-to-face sessions is popular to activate the audience, the students. You ask questions, they can be answered anonymously and you can immediately look at the voting results together. This enables a good involvement of all participants and you get an impression of whether your presented content has been received and understood.

Many terms! But they all mean the same:

Live Voting System = Audience Response System (ARS), Classroom Response System (CRS), Live Feedback System,TED-System, Clicker, eFeedback

Many systems on the market

There are many web-based tools for live voting on the market that can easily be used with mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. A rough overview and comparison of several tools can be found in the Audience Response article of the ELAN e.V. Wiki (in German).

At the TU Darmstadt we offer information on the following live voting systems:

Some useful tips

PINGO | Invote | Mentimeter in comparison (in German)

  • Questions created in PINGO can be exported and imported into Moodle and vice versa – see Exchange of questions between PINGO and Moodle (in German)
  • Voting questions and results in Mentimeter can be embedded in Moodle via Embed Code.
  • Voting in Invote and Mentimeter can also be done asynchronously (flexible in time), e.g. as a preparatory vote. In Mentimeter, the “Audience Pace” mode must be set for this. In Invote, the setting „spezielle Fragensammlung“ must be selected for this.
  • During online meetings in Zoom you can also use the poll function with single choice questions to conduct simple live voting.

Possible use cases for live voting in teaching

  • Check prior knowledge at the beginning of a course or the current level of knowledge after completing topic sections. – This serves as a self-assessment for students and you can adapt the rest of your course accordingly.
  • Ask for opinions, feedback or other personal information from the students to be able to include them in the ongoing course in terms of content or adapted examples.
  • Set focus on important content during the lecture and deepen understanding of it by initiating discussion, for example in the context of Peer Instruction (in German).
  • Repeat content that has already been taught or includes topics that students should learn on their own in advance – e.g. in the Flipped Classroom concept (in German).

You quickly get a representative impression of your students' answers to your question and the anonymity also allows shy students to participate.

Knowledge, feedback or opinion polls with single/multiple choice or open questions are classic scenarios when using live voting systems. However, more complex scenarios are also possible. This depends on both the functionalities of the tool used and the question design.

  • Mentimeter offers e.g. question types with which classification questions can be implemented well. This can be used to address cognitively higher learning goals.
  • In addition, some live voting systems are also suitable for asking your students what questions they have. These can be “collected” by submission, shown to everyone and discussed together.
  • In the context of the Peer Instruction method (in German) mentioned above, questions are usually designed to test conceptual understanding of a subject (they are therefore also called ConceptTests). Here, too, cognitively higher learning goals can be addressed.

The use of live voting systems in higher education is a well-researched field. – Here are three findings worth knowing:

The use of live voting systems is a common and well-researched teaching method for digital higher education. Positive findings include the following:

  • Students see advantages in the repetition, thematic structuring and self-monitoring that live votings offer. They also consider them to be a support for exam preparation. (Kundisch et al. 2014)
  • Students give more honest feedback and participate more. (Stowel 2007)
  • There can also be a positive impact on student attendance, attention and interest. (Kay & LeSage 2009)
  • In particular, when using Peer Instruction, a deeper understanding is facilitated and the quality of interaction/discussion improves. (Kay & LeSage 2009)

Kundisch, D.; Zoyke, A.; Beutner, M.; Magenheim, J.; Neugebauer, J. (2014): Evaluation von Lerndesigns mit einem webbasierten Classroom Response System in der universitären Lehre. In: DeLFI 2014 – Die 12. e-Learning Fachtagung Informatik der Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., pp. 121-126

Stowel, Nelson (2007): Benefits of Electronic Audience Response Systems on Student Participation, Learning and Emotion, available online at http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ785511

Kay, R. H., & LeSage, A. (2009): Examining the benefits and challenges of using audience response systems: A review of the literature In: Computers & Education, 53(3), 819-827, available online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131509001134

For students, there must be noticeable phases between the presentation of content, the start of the live voting and the time window for answering and discussion. (Kundisch et al. 2014)

Kundisch, D.; Zoyke, A.; Beutner, M.; Magenheim, J.; Neugebauer, J. (2014): Evaluation von Lerndesigns mit einem webbasierten Classroom Response System in der universitären Lehre. In: DeLFI 2014 – Die 12. e-Learning Fachtagung Informatik der Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., pp. 121-126

The students consider the discussion with their fellow students and lecturers about the possible answers as very important. In particular, the argumentation used in the process expand their knowledge and correct it if necessary. They also learn to express themselves more precisely with technical terms and to use them correctly. Along with this, they learn to justify their answers better. The process of changing their opinion during the group discussion can also be consciously perceived. (Kundisch et al. 2014)

Kundisch, D.; Zoyke, A.; Beutner, M.; Magenheim, J.; Neugebauer, J. (2014): Evaluation von Lerndesigns mit einem webbasierten Classroom Response System in der universitären Lehre. In: DeLFI 2014 – Die 12. e-Learning Fachtagung Informatik der Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., pp. 121-126.

Quelle: https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-devices-books-business-coffee-572056/
Picture: Original: Serpstat, pexels.com

Encouraging interaction in online teaching

Live voting systems can also be used in online meetings, just like in lecture halls. Here, they serve even more the purpose of making an anonymous group of participants "visible" and encouraging interaction.

Learn more