The Power of Real Time Feedback

Posted on 2017/01/16

One of the things we know about learning and training is that individuals and groups consume and understand content at varying paces. Within the learning space there have been significant strides made, using technology, to serve individualised content through a personal device subject to the input of the user. For example, a standard chapter of content may be taught interactively, followed by a short test. Those who struggle with certain questions, or areas of content might be re-served content. I am sure by now you get the idea! This interactivity is transforming the way in which people learn and for the better. 

This brings me onto a use case for IQ Polls which is set to greatly improve the way the value of conferences and lectures for both the speakers and the participants. In the traditional sense, both a lecture and a conference have been events whereby a speaker or speakers address the audience with one way dialogue, perhaps opening the floor for questions at the end or even at scheduled intervals. This course format has many advantages, but it does not greatly encourage audience participation, nor does it evolve in real time. Take an example where a speaker gets up to present for one hour on a topic, of which there are a number of sub topics they could have covered. The speaker decides upon the sub topics and presents them unilaterally and in fact after event feedback showed that many participants were disappointed that other sub topics were not covered. Now let us imagine that whilst the speaker has a broad format, there are options and choices within their material, and the path of content delivery can be determined by the audience themselves. This is where IQ Polls comes in. Participants can be prompted to use their personal device during the event to select their preferred topics. We know that most people carry a mobile phone! The overriding vote can be displayed on a projector, and the speaker can address the most popular topic.

Very quickly and simply, the audience is encouraged to participate and also become joint decision makers over the direction of what is presented. The other thing we know about human beings, is they don’t tend to like showing weakness, particularly in large groups, and especially when the other people are strangers. Now imagine important content is being explained to a group by a lecturer. It is imperative that all participants understand each key aspect of the topic before the lecturer moves onto the next. If the lecturer openly asked if anybody wanted them to go back over that topic, how many students having difficulties do you think would raise their hands? Of course this is a fictitious example and therefore impossible to answer, but I would guess lots of shy students would stay silent. IQ Polls can be used instead to check understanding in a confidential and non-intrusive manner. Students are simply prompted on their device to say anonymously if they understood the content or not. The lecturer can then decide if the percentage of students wanting the material repeated warrants doing it right away, or perhaps setting up a smaller tutorial on another day if fewer participants were struggling.

This is the power of IQ polls! It is simple to use, scalable, and the fact individuals can respond from their personal device makes it perfect for the use cases detailed above.