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This page contains notes about the video "An example of using the PRS voting equipment". You may want to print out this page to accompany watching the video.
Filmed on 19 Feb 2004, it shows the 8 votes and 5 distinct questions used in one tutorial session of an introductory statistics course with 61 students present, complete with short interviews with students and the lecturer. The 50 minute session was filmed, and the video edited down omitting parts not using the voting equipment, but retaining approximately real time for the questions themselves. Immediately afterwards a few students and the lecturer were taken to an adjacent office for the interviews which were not rehearsed, nor were the interviewees given notice in advance of the session.
The course was the University of Glasgow Statistics 1C course, taught by the Statistics department for psychology students. There are about 210 students enrolled, of which 61 were there on this day. This was the fifth occasion the students had used the equipment, at least on this course.
There is generally 5 minutes available for setup, which includes greeting students, plugging in and starting up the laptop, getting the data projector and screens ready, and handing out the handsets as students come in. This lecturer usually brings two assistants to help with this (visible on the video).
This lecturer used OHP transparencies on a second screen (visible on the video), (whereas others use powerpoint and a single screen for both questions and the PRS software displays). During voting, the audience directs their infrared handsets towards one of the receivers which in this lecture theatre are permanently mounted high on the walls. (The camera caught one closeup of a receiver, but not their positions in the room.) They need to check on the screen to see if their handset's ID number comes up, and if not to re-send their vote.
This class is particularly reluctant to volunteer answers aloud to the lecturer (which is why the voting equipment was introduced by this course team). They are somewhat better at discussing with the person next to them. However, as the interviews illustrate, most approve of the handsets as allowing them to interact with the subject matter without having to make a public show of it. This contrast (between little visible interactivity and what the students themselves say about it on this and other occasions) is one aspect of the "story" in this video.
This is now the second year in which the equipment has been used in this class, and it was originally sought out to deal with these sessions, which had been particularly difficult because of the reluctance of the students to interact face to face. This case is probably typical in that the staff began with wanting to produce more student engagement with the material but now value the equipment even more for the feedback it gives to them, despite students' reticence, on the classes' degree of understanding of particular points.
These particular sessions are "tutorials", designed, not to introduce new material, but to allow students to review what has already been covered.
|Start: titles and introduction to the video.
|Checking each handset is "heard".
|Which is the null hypothesis? 62% get it right.
|Which is the conclusion? 85% right.
|At this point the lecturer changes the selection of questions from his plan. Trick question on Cramer's V statistic. Most get it wrong.
|Re-vote following peer discussion. Still 67% wrong.
|Why question this test's validity? Fairly even 4-way split.
|Re-vote following 50:50 elimination. Still 67% wrong.
|Which test? discussion and vote. Uneven spread, with majority still wrong.
|Good example of two (male) students discussing; then a pause; then a different two discussing.
|Ending the tutorial session and packing up.
|Two students: it's worth having, interactivity, privacy.
|One student: Answering fast, fast corrective feedback to students
|Two students: Lecturer focusses on difficulties. Privacy.
|Lecturer: Engage students, feedback to staff is now the top benefit.
On most players (for DVD, CD, streaming video) you can move a slider on the controls to go directly to one of the times listed. In the DVD version, these points also appear on the menu you see on screen when starting it up. They are also "chapter" points. There are additional chapter points: each question has three chapter points, one when the question is introduced, one when voting begins, and one when the voting results appear.
N.B. A thirty second trailer for the whole video is also on the DVD at the end.
The DVD name is "PRS 1" (this may appear on a desktop icon or in a file browser).
On starting to play or enter it, you will first get to a menu screen listing the main points you might want to jump to. The DVD is organised as a single "title" that will play through continuously from the point you begin. You can also jump to any "chapter" point: as listed above. One way to do this is to right-click on the jump forward button to see a pop-up menu of all chapter points. (You may have to start to play some/any part of it, then pause, to get this to work.) You can also drag a slider to move to any point in terms of minutes:seconds of play time from the start.
If it switches to full screen mode the controls disappear, which can be disconcerting at first. Probing with the mouse, either click at the same place your last saw the player's control panel, or at the very top of the screen, and you may recover them.
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