Taking a Vote to Engage Learners

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YEN-JIE LEE: So during the class, I usually do a little vote on the physical situation we are interested in to predict what will be the outcome of the calculation. I think that is actually a very, very interesting thing to do. First of all, that will attract the attention of the students that we are going to do a prediction of a physical situation. OK? So that's actually the first purpose, to encourage participation of the students into class. And then secondly, I can know if the majority of the students already know the outcome or not by looking at the vote result.

So if I have-- if I have my polarizer orienting in this direction, can you predict what will happen to the readout on the scope? Will I see signal or not? How many of you actually think we will see signal if I arrange that? The electromagnetic wave is actually pointing-- polarized in the up and down direction. OK, one, two-- OK, only four people think so.

How many of you think nothing will change? I'm sorry, nothing will be observed by the scope. OK, most of you actually think so. So let's actually really do the experiment.

I choose to use an analog method instead of clicker or support with other technical tools. And that is because I would like this process to be as smooth as I could achieve. So doing it by raising your hand, first of all, they have to do a lot more by raising your hand instead of clicking a button. So that actually makes a difference for them to focus on my question. OK.

So secondly, I don't want to do a automatic counting because usually, they provide a graph, and I have to switch back and forth between graph and my lectures or my other lecture slides. And that usually takes some time. And also, that introduces interruptions during my lecture.

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