What is a voting system?

Monday, January 25th, 2010 | IWBs, technology

A voting system – also called a response system – consists of a set of handheld voting devices, which look like simplified remote control units of a TV set.  Learners in a class receive one of these units each to “vote” or respond to questions put to them by you, their teacher.

The units are called clickers, since input is provided by clicking buttons to select chosen responses.  The clickers are wireless and operate with infrared or radio signals.  Special software installed on your computer receives these signals and interprets them, providing you with information about the way learners respond.

Let’s use an example.  You want to test if learners have done their reading assignment at home, and you display the following question on the interactive whiteboard:

 The legislative capital of South Africa is …

 A   Bloemfontein
 B   Cape Town
 C   Pretoria
 D   Johannesburg

Buttons marked A, B, C, D are on the clicker, and you now ask learners to enter the correct answer.  Each child clicks an answer – the moment the selection is made, the computer receives and records the signal.  The system informs you when all the learners in the class have responded.

Immediately after all responses have been collated, a summary of the responses is available – which you may or may not wish to show to the class.  Let’s say 60% of the class voted for Cape Town: it is now clear to you that not all the learners in the class understand the work, and gives you the opportunity to enter into a discussion with the class to lead them to the correct information.

In addition to multiple choice questions, most voting systems permit true-or-false questions as well.  More sophisticated systems allow numeric and limited text responses, giving you the opportunity to ask other types of questions.

Voting systems can be used without an interactive whiteboard, but the combination of these two technologies provides you with a powerful tool to create an interactive classroom.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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5 Comments to What is a voting system?

Mark C
Monday, 25 January, 2010

Physics makes use of a lot of multiple choice questions. Many learners are weak in this area. It will be good for them to use this device to collect answers and then to show the correct answer. This will also show the educator which misconceptions learners have or which part of the question learners misunderstood or misread.

Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

You can also ask evaluative questions like, “How well did you understand today’s lesson?” Some learners are too shy to say that they don’t understand a concept, but the anonymity of this method makes it less threatening. Brave teachers can also ask learners to evaluate their lesson on a scale of 1 to 4 – the same scale used to evaluate primary school learners.

Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

2010 and beyond will see your cell phone being used as a voting device. Further, we are “here” – EIAWB software on your cell phone …. think of the possibilities ….. A Milkyway of inter-activities !!

Albie voting x

Wednesday, 27 January, 2010

Thank you Kathy and Mark for your contributions … I am including them in my next blog posting on the value of voting systems. Albie, I share your view on cell phones … I believe that the use of cell phones must be the next technology wave to hit education.

Luke Ziegenhardt
Monday, 22 August, 2011

Greetings. I have been selling Interactive Voting Systems for over 7 years in South Africa. We are working on creating a “texting function” into the voting key pads, and also a function to answer homework questions using paper based assessments. This would mean that teachers could save hours on marking homework or tests as each students results are instantly tabulated when arriving back in the class the next day.

Using Blue tooth on different cell phones for voting proved to be very unstable and we all remember the fiasco of using cell phones (with all the different networks) for the previous Idols scoring as the results get jumbled from question to question.

Thanks for the info on whiteboards. I sell portable whiteboards called an Ebeam ( made by Luidia) -Turns any surface into an Interactive Board.

I would be happy to come and demonstrate so new features to you from some of my systems should you wish.



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