Smartphones and other connected devices eliminate the need for dedicated equipment in classes and lecture halls
Businesses and academic institutions have for years taken advantage of the numerous benefits of audience response technology for lectures and seminars.
But for much of this time, the hardware required was specialized to the companies that provided them. That meant that to take advantage of audience response technology, the equipment had to be rented, leased or purchased by the company presenting the event, the event planning company, the company that managed the meeting venue, or the college or university.
And though such entities still will invest in dedicated audience response hardware to meet the demands of their busy schedules and high turnover, some have begun to rely on something nearly every adult already has in their pocket – a smart phone.
Incorporating audience response into the handheld devices people already own has multiple benefits. First, obviously, is that the venue, trainer, or university is no longer obligated to pay for, provide and maintain the necessary hardware.
Second, setting up an audience response system for individual classes through smartphones is simple and intuitive for anyone with a basic understanding of how the devices and their complementary apps work. The apps themselves are easy to download over wireless networks, and there’s no installation required for lecture hall systems.
Often, there’s no app to download – the polling and content sharing happens right in your browser, no matter what device you’re using.
In addition, studies have shown that while students are adept at using their connected devices during classes and lectures, much of that time is spent “multitasking,” much of which is unrelated to the material being discussed. Using an app that links their device to the class and solicits responses to questions posed through the lecture helps students focus and learn more efficiently.
Instructors, meanwhile can manage their coursework from a central location, delegate and assign presentation templates to others for easy version control and see how their class is learning by tracking responses, assessing how the material is being processed and altering the curriculum and classroom discussion as necessary.