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Engaging students through electronic voting – clickers and mobile phone systems

contributors | abstract | presentation | biographies


Carol Withey (University of Greenwich)


Paper presentation


Electronic voting systems (EVS) allow students, via a clicker or mobile phone, to vote on polls that are embedded into a PowerPoint presentation. The results of a poll are displayed on the lecture screen so that students and lecturers can assess the results. There is an increasing amount of research into the pedagogical benefits of EVS as a learning tool. Included here is the work of Crouch and Mazur in the USA and Steve Draper and Jim Boyle in the UK. It has been shown that EVS increases student engagement in the classroom environment and enhances learning. EVS is becoming increasingly popular within the disciplines of science, information technology, and maths. Within the social sciences there is less use and within law only sporadic embracement of this exciting technology.

This paper identifies some of the most popular EVS systems and explains how they can be used when teaching law. A demonstration of the mobile phone technology will be given and this will include some audience participation. Results gained from research conducted with criminal law students will then be discussed. Students used both the popular ‘clicker’ system and their own mobile phones as voting devices. Feedback regarding each system will be discussed and the strengths and weaknesses of the two systems will be identified. This session will hopefully encourage participants to use EVS in their own teaching. For those familiar with EVS, most will be using the clicker system. The focus on mobile phone voting will therefore introduce an alternative format of electronic voting.


Short biographies of panel members

Carol Withey is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Greenwich. Carol is an Associate Teaching Fellow of the University and has been a fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2005. Carol is a keen researcher within her own academic discipline; Criminal Law, but has also conducted research into effective ways to teach law. Carol has delivered papers on legal education at the SLS conference, Keele 2009 and at ESTICT, Edinburgh 2010.

Last Modified: 13 July 2011