Classroom voting systems go under the spotlight

 
 
The voting systems are used in schools across the country, and allow pupils to participate in lessons by sending responses to questions or discussion topics via an electronic keypad, which appear on an interactive whiteboard or projector screen.
 
The £250,000 REVEAL Project set out to investigate for the first time the use of the technology, known as learner response systems, in schools.
 
The two-year development and research project by the Learning Technologies team at the Midlands Leadership Centre, based at the University’s Education Partnerships, focused on the effective use of one form of e-voting system, Promethean’s Activote. The project aimed to identify best practice and highlight creative ways of working in lessons, and a useful teacher’s guide has now been published.
 
The researchers also produced a DVD as a guide and to suggest ways to expand use of the voting systems. Filming for the 50-minute documentary-style DVD took place in schools in Newham, Hartlepool, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Telford and Wrekin, as well as at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Education. The researchers observed lessons and interviewed teachers, and the DVD features footage from real classroom situations.
 
Key messages from the research include that many pupils like the anonymity when using the technology, that there are high levels of pupil enjoyment and involvement in lessons where the technology is used and that practitioners should be encouraged to have more talk time, thinking time and jotting time to help develop pupil ideas further. The team have developed a detailed model, "The Response Technology Pyramid", which supports schools in successfully introducing and developing classroom practice using their learner response devices. Many of the key messages from the study are applicable to other brands of "voting" system.
 
Andrew Hutchinson, REVEAL Project Manager, said: “The REVEAL Project is the most extensive study of learner response systems across the UK. We are certain that the DVD, Case Studies and Final Report for Practitioners share effective practice and illustrate what can be achieved when the use of technology is embedded within teaching and learning. The teachers who have worked with our Learning Technologies team have demonstrated real commitment in helping us to understand the true potential of this innovative technology."
 
The DVD, titled ‘Effective Teaching and Learning using electronic Learner Response Systems’, the teacher’s guide and final report are available via the website, www.revealproject.org

Further information

Picture: An example of the learner response systems used in the REVEAL project.
 
For more information, contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335 112.
 
The technology is now used in around 12 per cent of schools in the UK, but this is expected to rise to 50 per cent in the next five years. The REVEAL Project is the first research of its kind into Learner Response technology.
 
For info: The schools in Lancashire were in: Rossendale, Blackburn, Nelson, Chorley, Colne, Preston and Poulton-Le-Fylde
 
The schools in Staffordshire were in: Burton, Tamworth, Stafford, Codsall Wolverhampton, Newcastle under Lyme, Oulton Cross and Stone
 

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