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Voting Pads

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Voting pads are hand-held devices that allow students to choose an option - usually multiple choice but some allow simple text entry as well, they can also be referred to as Audience Response Systems or Learner Response Systems, they allow academic staff to ask the students questions to test their understanding or gauge prior knowledge of a subject/issue they can be used to make the teaching session more interactive and engaging.

Qwizdom Handset ImageActivote Handset image

How can they be used?

Voting pads can be used in any face-to-face teaching session for the following:

  • Hold a class quiz for individual or group activities.

  • Test prior knowledge of a topic.

  • Test understanding following a teaching and learning session.

  • Have a poll on a topic.

  • Vote on student presentations, debates etc.

  • Hold a formal test.

  • Make a formal lecture more interactive.

  • Obtaining student feedback on a course or module.

Benefits of using voting pads

  • They can be used to test prior knowledge to enable the tutor to focus on what is needed most.

  • They can be used to engage the students in a more formal lecture.

  • They can be used to gain diagnostic data of understanding following the teaching of a topic which the tutor can then use to target the next class on any misunderstandings or lacking knowledge.

  • They can be used for peer marking of presentations etc.

  • They can be made anonymous to aid honest feedback on something.

  • They are fun, students seem to like using them in classes.

  • The students find them very easy to use.

  • The questions can be integrated into PowerPoint.

How-to Guides and Screencasts:

Links to Web Resources


References to Scholarly Articles

Arnesen, K., Korpås, G. S., Hennissen, J. E., & Stav, J. B. (2013). Experiences with use of various pedagogical methods utilizing a student response system - motivation and learning outcome. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 11(3), 169-181.

Barrett, M. et al (2005). The Personal Response System as a Teaching Aid. Communication Teacher, 19(3), 89-92.

Beekes, W. (2006). The ‘Millionaire’ method for encouraging participation. Active Learning in Higher Education, 7(1), 25-36.

Bostock, S. (2006). Audience response systems in higher education - Edited by David A Banks. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37(6), 974.

Cain, J., Black, E. P., & Rohr, J. (2009). An Audience Response System Strategy to Improve Student Motivation, Attention, and Feedback. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(2), 1.

Collins, J. (2008). Audience Response Systems: Technology to Engage Learners. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 5(9), 993.

Dangel, H. L., & Wang, C. X. (2008). Student Response Systems in Higher Education : Moving Beyond Linear Teaching and Surface Learning. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 1(1), 93-104.

Datta, R., Datta, K., & Venkatesh, M. D. (2015). Evaluation of interactive teaching for undergraduate medical students using a classroom interactive response system in india. Medical Journal, Armed Forces India, 71(3), 239-245. doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2015.04.007

Graham, C. R., Tripp, T. R., Seawright, L., & Joeckel, G. (2007). Empowering or compelling reluctant participators using audience response systems. Active learning in higher education, 8(3), 233.

Hoffman, C., & Goodwin, S. (2006). A clicker for your thoughts: technology for active learning. New Library World, 107(9), 422-433.

Medina, M. S., Medina, P. J., Wanzer, D. S., E, W. J., Er, N., & Britton, M. L. (2008). Use of an Audience Response System (ARS) in a Dual-Campus Classroom Environment. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 72(2), 1.

Nayak, L., & Erinjeri, J. (2008). Audience Response Systems in Medical Student Education Benefit Learners and Presenters1. Academic Radiology, 15(3), 383.

Rubio, E. I., Bassignani, M. J., White, M. A., & Brant, W. E. (2008). Effect of an Audience Response System on Resident Learning and Retention of Lecture Material. American Journal of Roentgenology, 190(6), W319.

Stowell, J. R., & Nelson, J. M. (2007). Benefits of Electronic Audience Response Systems on Student Participation, Learning, and Emotion. Teaching of Psychology, 34(4), 253.

Turning Point. (2007). Audience Response System (Clickers) by TurningPoint. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 25(3), 107.


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