reflecting on eVoting

Following the launch meeting of the EVAF 4ALL JISC project in Edinburgh last week, I got to thinking about our uses of eVoting. The EVAF 4ALL offers two important features:

  1. It will allow students to track their own progress in answering voting question, thereby giving the potential for a large amount of personalised feedback.
  2. It will allow staff to review the questions they have asked and find out which ones are potentially useful for future use. The system allows the identification of questions which are ‘easy’ (everyone gets it right), banana skins (where the majority all get the same wrong answer, useful for correcting misunderstandings of key concepts) and scatter gun answers (no-one knows the answer and there is a spread of responses, useful for using in peer instruction scenarios).

Electronic voting encourages interaction and engagement in the lecture, which is just another way to reform lectures from one way transmission of information to a meaningful conversation. Students are told to expect to assimilate content OUTSIDE the lecture and look forward to interaction and understanding during the hour lecture period instead.

Surely this is something we should be aiming for and gives us a reason to get up in the morning?

Will electronic voting tick all the boxes on our pedagogic wish list?

  • students reading content outside the lecture in their own time
  • better engagement in the lecture
  • direct personal (automated) electronic feedback on progress
  • staff reflecting on student understanding and changing their teaching to address any issues raise

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