audience response systems


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Solid Elements


What is an Audience Response System?

An audience response system is a usually web-based application that allows you to survey your participants in real time.

Other Common Names

Other common names for lesson plan include:

  • Live Engagement Tools
  • Polling Software

Key Properties

  • Web-based software
  • Audience can respond through text messaging or a website
  • No additional equipment or hardware is needed as long as participants have a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer
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Thoughts on Audience REsponse Systems that We Think Deserve Your Vote

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Elements that bond with Audience Response Systems


Most audience response software is able to integrate online polling with your PowerPoint slides. This will allow you to keep all your visual cues in one file during the presentation as opposed to having to toggle between applications.

12 AdultLearningAdult Learning

Providing participants with an opportunity to be self-directed learners is a key element of adult learning theory. Integrating an audience response system into a session can provide learners with opportunities to share their thoughts, uncover their needs, and allow you to modify the lesson in the moment as a response.


Determining whether your learners are “getting it” can be a tricky initiative with smaller groups, and it becomes trickier as your groups grow larger. Asking questions and monitoring responses through audience response software takes some of the pressure off your learners (since their responses are anonymous) while allowing you to determine how many can come up with the correct answers to your queries.

virtual meetingVirtual Meeting

If you’re conducting a webinar or virtual classroom session, there is software that will integrate with your virtual meeting platform. Most virtual platforms also have built-in polling features that can help you interact with and assess your learners, regardless of the number of participants. Using polling can help break the monotony of virtual lectures and can be an important tool to combat multitasking participants.

instructional designInstructional Design

While throwing a poll or a survey to your audience from time to time can be a fun way to engage with them, audience response–based activities will always be more powerful when they’re designed intentionally into the flow of your program and serve as one element (among many) that helps your learners get to a sufficient level of understanding.


In addition to relying on traditional evaluation tools such as a smile sheet or other formal assessment, many web-based audience response systems allow you to download poll results to use as a data point following a session.

Other Sources of Information on Audience Response Systems


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