Embedded e-Voting Trial

The project is driven by the need to find ways to improve NSS results related to feedback.

When used properly, e-voting can significantly increase feedback on several levels. However, at UoB most lecturers are put off from using the technology on a regular basis because of the time it takes to book, collect, distribute and retrieve handsets. This project aims to establish whether or not this barrier can be removed by equipping students with their own handset and permanently installing e-voting receivers at locations where they are taught.

480 first year undergraduate students undertaking the MB ChB Programme will be loaned a TurningPoint (e-voting) handset for 2 years to use in weekly Anatomy practicals and selected lectures. A range of techniques to increase feedback to students will be piloted. These will include the delivery of formative assessments where results are instantly processed, enabling real time whole-class feedback to be given.

When students have their own handset they can automatically be identified and tracked by the system. This will enable individuals’ progress to be monitored over time so personal feedback can be given and extra help offered to those who need it. The trial will also investigate how accurately student attendance to practical classes can be automatically tracked.

While the focus of the trial is on practical classes, uptake of e-voting practice by other staff as a result of students having their own handsets will be observed. Already several teachers and the Medical Subject Librarians are planning to use the technology in lectures and workshops they deliver to the students.

The trial will also develop and test e-voting techniques to collect unit/element feedback from students. In this situation polling will be conducted anonymously, which students are known to prefer. The approach is expected to be cheap, efficient and representational compared to traditional methods such as OMR questionnaires and online surveys.

Assuming the trial is successful, a sustainable business model will be developed that other departments can use.

If you wish to know more about the trial and its progress visit the project blog. This has been set up to document and reflect on practice, incidents and lessoned learnt and we encourage you to post any comments and ideas you have there.

Time frame

  • September 2011 - set up project
  • October 2011 to August 2013 - implementation of practice
  • Late summer 2012 - first evaluation report
  • October 2013 - final evaluation report


Mrs Liz Gaze
Department of Anatomy
Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences

Email: Liz.Gaze@bristol.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)117 92 88079