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Using EVS at Glasgow University c.2005

(written by Steve Draper,   as part of the Interactive Lectures website)

This page is about the use of EVS (electronic voting systems) in lectures at Glasgow University. It was written a few years ago, and assumes the use of the old IR equipment; though most of the rest of the advice is still reasonable. More up to date advice about use of the current equipment here.

Questions and answers (click to jump to a section)

Brief introduction

If you haven't already read a passage explaining what these EVS are about, a brief general account is here.

To date, student response, and lecturers' perceptions of that, have been almost entirely favourable in an expanding range of trials here at the University of Glasgow (to say nothing of those elsewhere) already involving students in levels 1,2,3 and 4, and diverse subjects (psychology, medicine, philosophy, computer science, ...), and in sequences from one-off to every lecture for a term.

The equipment is mobile, and so can be used anywhere with a few minutes setup. It additionally requires a PC (laptops are also mobile, and we can supply one if necessary), and a data projector (the machine for projecting a computer's displayed output on to a big screen).

In principle, the equipment is available for anyone at the university to use, and there is enough for the two largest lecture theatres to be using it simultaneously. In practice, the human and equipment resources are not unlimited, and advance arrangements are necessary. We can accommodate any size audience, but there is a slight chance of too many bookings coinciding for the equipment, and a considerable chance of us not having enough experienced student assistants available at the right time: that is the currently scarcest resource.

Why would you want to use EVS in your lectures?

Want to see them in action?

Find out who is using them, and go and see them in use.

If it's one of mine you needn't ask, just turn up; and probably other users feel the same. We are none of us expert, yet we all seem to be getting good effects and needn't feel defensive about it. It usually isn't practicable to get 200 students to provide an audience for a realistic demonstration: so seeing a real use is the best option.

What's involved at the moment of use?

What's involved at the lecture?

Ideally (!):

One way of introducing a new audience to the EVS is described here.

What preparation is required by the lecturer?


There are several alternative modes you could use this in.

Human resources

It is MUCH less stressful for a lecturer, no matter how practised at this, if there are assistants to fetch and set up the equipment, leaving the lecturer to supervise the occasion. We have a small amount of resource for providing these assistants.

What has experience shown can go wrong?

Generally both the basic PRS equipment, and the PRS software itself have proved very reliable, both here and elsewhere. Other things however can go wrong.

Unnecessary technical details

Most lecturers never need to know about further technical details. But if you want to know about them, about the log files PRS creates, etc.etc. then read on here.

[ Long past bookings   Past workshops for prospective users     (Past uses)     Interim evaluation report ]

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