How Do Audience Response Systems Benefit Us?Audience response systems have many uses and benefits for society and it also hasapplications in a broad range of industries and organizations.An audience response system (ARS) allows large groups of people to vote on a topic or answera question. Each person has a handheld device from which he can select a choice or answer aquestion posed by the presenter. In this way, interactivity is created between the presenter andhis/her audience. Systems for co-located audiences combine wireless hardware withpresentation software. Systems with remote audiences may use telephones or web polls foraudiences watching through television or the internet.Parts of an audience response systemThe presenter uses a computer and a video projector to project a presentation for the audienceto see. In the most common forms of Audience Response Systems, presentation slides displayquestions with several possible answers (also referred to as multiple choice questions) to theaudience, and they interact with the presenter by selecting the answer they think is correct, bypushing the corresponding key on their individual wireless keypad. The signals are then sent toa base station or receiver connected to the presenter’s computer. The audience responsesoftware collects the signals and the result is graphically displayed within the presentation forall to see, mostly in the form of bar graphs. It is up to the presenter to track individualresponses or receive it anonymously. Some devices also have additional keys which allow thepresenter to ask True/False questions to the audience or even questions requiring numericalanswers.Benefits of Audience Response Systems
Audience polling or voting offers many benefits when used in group settings. It improves attentiveness of the audience. Many studies have been done in university campuses and all the results show that student’s attentiveness increases when an audience response system was being used. It increases knowledge retention of the audience since presentations become more interesting, interactive and enjoyable. It allows you to poll anonymously. It reduces the tendency of crowd psychology because unlike hand raising or oral answers, it is difficult to see what selection others in your group are making. Provides tracking features which can be beneficial in academic settings. Wireless voting systems allow you to display data immediately. It allows you to confirm understanding of key ideas by the audience immediately. It speeds up decision making process. Allows you to create an interactive and fun learning environment. The use of audience polling system also allows you to gather data for reporting and analysis.A few problems of using audience response systemsAudience response systems may pose some difficulties both in their deployment and use. Noteveryone may be able to afford the per-unit purchase of Audience Response Systems devices.There will be maintenance and repair issues of the devices. The configuration, trouble-shootingand support of the related presentation software will have to be made.Applications of audience response systems The applications of Audience Response Systems are many and they are used in education,corporate training, delegate voting, market research, game shows, conferences and events,executive decision making, continuing medical education and ROI assessment andmeasurement.