Voting / opinion poll
Contribution to the learning process
Using an opinion poll, the students take on the role of an observer to either learn about themselves and their project through others’ perceptions or make decisions considering a range of options.
This method will not be applied on its own; rather is used as a means of supporting the project’s organization and is incorporated into other more complex web methods or for evaluation.
As for the integration in the FyR-context see "Online cooperation in your river project".
To collect information on certain aspects (opinions, moods and athmosphere) of the groups and make decisions.
- Book of the River > My book (Login) > Our partnerships > Work spaces with other schools > (select your work space) > Forum
This forum is not open to the public; only you (your students) and your partner group have access.
We have no specific voting tool on our platform. With the web method described here, you can carry out (only) very simple votes, e.g. those with few questions and options. If you want to carry out more sophisticated votes, you can use e.g. the software GrafStat (see tips).
Required time for preparation and realization
1 hour maximum
Groups of learners who cooperate online
Requirements and preparation
Questions, method, duration, and rules should be agreed upon beforehand with all participants (within the groups participating or e.g. via E-mail).
Participants should be informed in advance how the votes will be compiled and used for future decisions There are different ways of using the votes, e.g.
- the date with the majority of votes is choosen,
- the three action proposals that obtained most votes are realized,
- the project management team presents proposals within the next four weeks for overcoming the most common criticisms (e.g. by more than 20 % of participants).
The tutor prepares the questions and distributes them to the participants.
Variant 1: Voting in the Forum
The questions are asked inside the forum; every participant gives his answer(s) inside the forum.
The tutor opens up a new thread inside the forum. He posts a new entry with the questions and perhaps the options. The participants are then informed that they can answer the question or select their preferred option.
Every participant has to go to the entry of the tutor and use the "post reply" functionality of the platform. Consequently, the platform opens up a text field where he can edit text/reply. This text field retains the text of the original statement; that´s why it is very easy to write an answer below every single question.
The statement has to be saved and can then be instantly read by all other participants.
After the deadline, the tutor has to analyze the statements.
The tutor creates a new entry in the forum and publishes the results of the vote.
Variant 2: Voting in the learning group
The participants answer at the local level in their learning group. In simple cases (e.g. when a date has to be choosen out of three choices) the votes can be given verbally or by signal/sign. If the questions are more complex, the participants should fill in a questionnaire.
The answers have to be summed up and to be published in the forum. It can be done by teacher or by students.
Conclusions can be drawn once the results of all (both) groups are publishd in the forum (see tips). These should be published in the forum too.
Experiences / results
If applied correctly, this method is very transparent and efficient. But with the web method described here, you can only carry out very simple votes.
With suitable deadlines for responding (e.g. one week), the organization expenditure is low because each participant can decide when within this time period he/she takes part.
Questions and answer options have to be formulated very well, unequivocally, and realistically. E.g. it is a critical mistake if in a multiple-choice question important answers are forgotten or if given answer options are not clearly separated. Also it would be counterproductive when a date chosen via opinion poll turns out to be impossible or untenable.
Thus, the success of this method is strongly dependent on its preparation.
The learners should, whenever possible, be involved in determining the choice of questions and answer options. E.g. the online cooperation groups of learners may make several proposals for actions and these can then be voted upon via opinion poll to select the most attractive ones.
For more complex votings, the soft ware program GrafStat is available, which can be used by advanced pupils to create and use the poll and evaluation modules for the internet. GrafStat was developed in German, but it is available in other languages (including English), too. For schools, it is available free of charge.
BUSCH/MAYER (2002), p. 79.