To survey a whole group of new Preliminary students using their mobile phones.
The aim of the survey was to engage the students using a fun activity, it was used as part of an orientation program for new students.
Voting tool used
I used VotAPedia http://www.urvoting.com to create the survey. From this website you can set up surveys, questionnaires, quizzes etc. I chose the option of gathering responses by mobile phone.
The phone calls are free and I believe it worked even if students did not have credit, the website states that phone numbers will be not be used for marketing etc.
Process to set up and run the survey
1. Register to get a login at http://www.urvoting.com
2. Create the survey; the website uses wiki formatting styles and each survey is a wiki page (see screen shot below)
3. When you are ready for the students to take the survey you publish it.
When you publish the survey phone numbers are generated for each answer. You have 60 minutes for the survey to be completed so I published it just before the session
4. Show the questions and phone numbers for each answer. I set up projector to show a PowerPoint which had the same questions and answers. When I published the survey I cut and pasted the phone numbers into the PowerPoint. You don't need to do this, you could show the website directly on a projector, but I felt the PowerPoint layout was clearer.
5. Students then vote for one of the answers to the question, when they vote correctly they hear an engaged signal (see screen shot below)
6. Show the results; I used a second projector with the website displayed to show the results occurring in real time.
As an activity to collect quantitative data it did not work as well as I hoped it would, but it did achieve the goal of engaging and exciting the students.. The later questions did not have as many votes. I did not give the students enough time to complete each question as I moved though the slides too quickly.
It is great to get the students to use their mobile phones as part of their education.
We also had some issues with students not being able to get through on their phone, I'm not sure why that happened. The site also has limited functionality, I would love to hear of other mobile voting systems available in Australia.