Classroom Engagement through voting pads

One of the most important challenges being faced by instructors is helping students engage. Engagement is particularly important for them to understand classroom studies and their ideas in a real-world situation. Maintaining student engagement inside a classroom or any teaching-learning setup is the key to effective teaching. Traditional lectures included teacher oriented information delivery which sometimes disconnects the students from the lesson which eventually makes them distracted and they are less likely to learn efficiently.

The role of voting pads

Voting pads are electronic applications where a receiver in the instructor’s computer captures responses to questions from student keypad devices. When effectively used, voting pads can promote student/learner engagement and serve to improve learning. Voting pads can be used in a variety of ways such as to provide feedback to learners and instructor, to start discussions, for peer evaluation, for formative and summative assessment, to build a learning community, and to experiment on human responses. Using the experience in the use of this technology the teachers can conclude various inferences for successful use of the student response system. It is found these strategies are useful and envisage that the application of voting pads to help maximize learner engagement and learning.

How it’s done with voting pads

During the lecture, the lecturer can throw a question to the students. This can be done verbally or could be displayed using presentation technology on a computer, projectors or from within the voting software interface. Each student has a handset that allows him or her to select the preferred option for the answer. The handsets transmit this information to a receiver, which in turn transmits it to the voting software on a computer in the theatre. After the allotted time, the software produces a histogram or bar-chart of the results along with a detailed report, which is displayed to the students using a data projector connected to the computer. The lecturer then chooses a course of action to respond to the results. During any new student group, the voting pads can be used to create awareness among the group. This can contribute to the forming of the group identity and support any future teamwork.

One of the common uses of the voting systems is to stimulate interest and initiate discussion. It can be made out of a situation where the lecturer displays a multiple choice question and the learners register an answer that. This poses them to forming and recording an opinion. The lecturer then asks the class to discuss their answers with each other. After a successful discussion among the students, the lecturer reveals the correct answer and also rectifies their understanding. Other uses of voting pads include asking students to rework a question through discussion, sometimes requiring a small group to achieve a general agreement on a single response.

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