Learner Response Systems

Promethean’s Learner Response Systems provide classroom teachers with new opportunities for formative assessment, summative assessment, and student engagement.  When used effectively, learner response systems (ActiVotes or ActivExpressions) provide real-time feedback, enhance classroom discussion, and encourage collaboration and higher level thinking.  ActivExpressions can be used to provide self-paced learning opportunities for students and can be set to provide immediate feedback to students.



Guidelines for Use

Showing results after voting is a setting in the Voting Browser.   If you decide to “assign students to devices,” be cautious when displaying voting results and/or consider the use of that data once exported to Excel.  Data that is tied to individual students and is used as part of a grade is covered under FERPA and should not be displayed publicly.  In addition, if you are using the response systems to collect data on a pre-test or post-test, you would not want the results to be displayed following each question.  Show the results after vote when you are planning to use the data for instructional purposes.

Anonymous Voting provides students an opportunity to respond without names assigned to their device.  This option can be found in the Voting Browser and allows the teacher to toggle between named voting and anonymous voting.  Please be cautious; “anonymous voting” is anonymous from the teacher’s view as well.  Think twice before allowing text responses under the anonymous voting setting.

Express Poll allows you to ask questions “on the spot” and do not require that the question be displayed on the screen and/or be prepared in the flipchart ahead of time.  This can be used with any application, in combination with print material, for discussion purposes, etc.  Prepared questions appear on the flipchart page and the question and response data will be recorded when exporting voting results.

The Question Manager allows teachers to prepare questions prior to instruction.  Insert – Questions allows teachers to determine question type, options, correct answers, page layout, and response time.  NOTE:  If you add more than one question per page in the Question Manager, your page will be set for self-paced instruction/assessment (only supported on the ActivExpressions).   Teachers can also import question sets from Excel, ExamView, and QTI/IMS sources.

Best Practices – Curriculum Connections

  • Prepare a warm-up question to create differentiated learning groups for today’s lesson
  • Prepare an exit ticket to evaluate learning and inform follow-up instructional plan
  • Stimulate discussion by having students “weigh in” on a topic and explain their response
  • Provide self-paced (ActivExpression only) questions to differentiate content and provide just-in-time feedback; question sets and/or quizzes can have varying difficulty level of questions and students respond at their own pace (teachers can set parameters for each level of questioning to determine progress)
  • Promote every pupil response and participation rather than only those who raise their hands
  • Utilize for formative assessment needs
  • Use response messages (ActivExpression only) to provide instant and corrective feedback
  • Reduce transition time using self-paced question sets (ActivExpression only) that students begin upon entering class
  • Provide lab setup directions and/or active reading questions that students respond to (ActivExpression only) in order to promote independence, student accountability, and on-task behavior
  • Export response data to Excel to review when making instructional decisions
  • Include frequent questioning to allow for real-time adjustment of instruction
  • Keep students engaged and paying attention to content through frequent opportunities for response
  • Utilize the Vote-Discuss-Revote method (Perez et al., 2010) to encourage critical thinking (Don’t show initial results)

Teacher InformationGetting Started

  1. Plug in the ActivHub for your Learner Response systems.
  2. Ensure that all devices are registered to the ActivHub that you are using.  (ActivExpressions will show a solid dot in the corner of the display if they are registered to the ActivHub plugged in.
    • F11 – Dashboard – Configure – Register Devices or
    • Voting Browser – Register Devices
  3. Consider renaming the devices so that students can easily identify which device they are using. This is the device name that will appear in the Voting Browser when students’ names are not assigned.  ActiVotes are typically marked with a permanent marker or utilize the mini-labels included in the kit.  ActivExpressions show the device name in the display when they are turned on.
    • Teachers can disable a Learner Response System at any time by clicking on the device name in the Voting Browser.
    • A strikethrough mark shows that the device is disabled.
  4. Consider assigning students to devices.  Using the resources below, teachers can create class lists to be used as an electronic database for ActivInspire.  Once created, teachers can assign students to devices at the start of a lesson and collect data accordingly.
    • Assign devices by PIN – Student names are displayed and individuals key in the corresponding PIN.  Once the teacher clicks Finish, the student names are displayed in the Voting Browser.
    • Automatically assign devices – Student names are displayed and the assigned device number is displayed.  Students should obtain the appropriate device to use.
    • Resetting device names – Teachers may opt to “rename devices” back to their original device names OR create a “mock class” list in the database to quickly reassign devices back to a class list of device names.
  5. Consider question types supported by your Learner Response System:
    • ActiVotes– support Multiple Choice (one answer) and Yes/No/True/False questions
    • ActivExpressions – support all question types:  Multiple Choice (up to 6 options), Sort in Order, Yes/No/True/False, Text entry, Numeric response, Likert Scale
  6. Prepare questions.  Consider whether to insert the question on the flipchart page, create a self-paced question set, or utilize the Express Poll option while teacher.  Various question styles can be used in the same flipchart.
  7. Target devices.  Ensure that your Voting Browser is “targeting” the correct device type prior to beginning your question.  This can be checked and/or changed in the Voting Browser.

ISTE Standards•S (formerly the NETS )

Equipment Needed

  • Computer with ActivInspire installed (version 1.2 comes installed on the image – update to the newest version under Help – Check for Updates)
  • Projector
  • ActiVotes or ActivExpressions
  • ActivHub

Tutorials and Resources

Promethean Planet Learner Response System Group – Consider joining this online community dedicated to the use of Promethean LRS, creative ideas, and troubleshooting tips!

ActivExpression 2 Startup Guide – Do you have a set of the newest ActivExpressions and want to know how to get started and discover what new features they have?

Using ESP Resource Center to Create a Student Database – This set of directions has been written for the Media Specialist that will use the ESP Resource Center to get the student data needed in Excel to create a student database in ActivInspire.  Once you create a class list database, you can quickly assign students to devices and collect data throughout a lesson with student information included.

Using the TAC to Create a Student Database – This set of directions has been written for the classroom teacher that will use the TAC to get the student data needed in Excel to create a student database in ActivInspire.  Once you create a class list database, you can quickly assign students to devices and collect data throughout a lesson with student information included.

Updating Software and Drivers – Things not working well?  Did you update your software and now your ActivSlate and response systems aren’t recognized.  Here are the quick answers for updating your software and drivers.

Video Resources

Using the Question Manager – This fifteen minute video will walk you through the use of the Question Manager in setting up different question types to use with ActivVotes or Expressions. Not all question types can be used with the Votes.

Using the Question Manager with Self Paced Questions – This twelve minute video will help you set up self-paced questions sets for use with ActivExpressions. It will also show the Expression going through the self-paced questions set so you can see how it will appear for students.

Using the Expressions – This fourteen minute video will go over the basic operation of the Expression using a flipchart with individual questions on each page. There are different question types to show how they are displayed on the Expression and what needs to be done.

Exporting Data – This five minute video will show you how to export the data collected to an Excel spreadsheet. It will provide some details of the data breakdown in the spreadsheet.