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Some tactics when using EVS questions
as part of the Interactive Lectures website)
- Announce at the start of each lecture whether EVS will be used. (Or
alternatively have a question up and running as the students come in.)
This is so the students fish the handsets out of their bags, and save
disturbance later. Such a question might ask for their view on an issue raised
at the end of the last lecture, or in seminars, or on the VLE, and so
underline continuity and connection across media.
- For each question, say in half a sentence what the (pedagogical) point of
this question is e.g. "this is a past exam question to show you what you need
to learn", "this is to launch a discussion to get you thinking about a
significant issue in this course".
Students mainly judge the value of EVS use in terms of whether it helps their
learning: it is probably worth just mentioning to them what you think the
value is each time.
- Consider putting as a footnote at the bottom of the preceding slide that
the next slide is an EVS question. This both helps the lecturer not to be
taken by surprise, and allows the students to get ready by finding their
- As you present each question, before starting the voting get them to
discuss what they might answer with a neighbour for at least a minute. Not
only good practice in general, but it involves and includes those without a
handset that day.
- Consider using colour cue cards (or cubes) for students without an EVS
handset to register their votes with.
for such methods and a reference.)
- Consider using your seminars to ask for some direct feedback from
students on your EVS use in lectures: what they do and don't like, whether the
ways you are using questions are helpful or not. (Sometimes things that felt
bad while presenting seemed OK to students; sometimes things that seemed to go
well weren't really valued; sometimes things that seemed to draw a dead,
uninteractive silence were actually really valued by students e.g. for
exposing what they need to work on more.)
It is also possible to use
one minute papers for this, e.g. with the question
"what is the thing you like most, and the thing you llike least, about
the use of EVS in my lectures?".
For more advice at this tactical level see
the main website,
question.html: Presenting a question
length.html: Length and number of questions
manage.html: Designing and managing a teaching session
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