The Vevox pilot is part of a process which aims to help Aston select and implement an institutional classroom response system (CRS) available to all staff who support teaching. There are other systems already in use by Schools, Departments and individual academics.
The new Aston Medical School is using Top Hat, a sophisticated system that can be used for in-class content delivery, polling, communication and interaction, as well as out-of-class revision and assessment. Ideally, curriculum planning is based around consistent use of the system, and all students need a suitable mobile device and good wi-fi in class. AMS have provided their students with iPads, and evaluation of the first cohort’s learning experience is ongoing.
Aston Engineering School use Turning Point, a market leading system whose ‘clicker’ handsets are still widely used. AES has just a few handsets but 500 licences for ResponseWare so that students can respond online using their phone or other mobile device. Turning Point has a great PowerPoint add-in, and some useful question types.
Individual academics use some of the free or free-trial systems available, all of which offer their own unique blend of features. (A summary of the main limitations of the free version in given in brackets)
Kahoot is very strong on gamification and team competition (no reports, includes adverts)
Mentimeter offers some really interesting question types (2 questions per session, no reports)
Poll Everywhere is a powerful and flexible system (40 students, no reports)
Socrative provides a good balance of features and gamification (50 students, one ‘room’)
The objective of the pilot project is to gather feedback from staff and students about the educational impact of classroom response systems, and to use that to develop a business case and selection criteria for an institutional system, which could be any of the systems above, or one of the other alternatives available.