Audience Response Systems 101 – What You Need To Know About Audience Response Systems

Audience response systems, commonly known as AR systems or ARS, have several uses and benefits for modern society. They can be utilized in a broad range of organizations and industries.

AR systems allow people to answer questions or vote on topics. Each user has a handheld device from which he or she can select a choice posed by a presenter. In this approach, there is high interactivity between presenters and their audiences. Systems for co-located audiences combine presentation software with wireless hardware. Systems with distant audiences can use web polls or telephones for people watching on the internet or television.

Audience Response Systems 101 - What You Need To Know About Audience Response Systems

Components of an AR System

The presenter uses a PC and a projector. In the most common forms of AR systems, the presentation slides display quizzes with many possible solutions (also known as multiple choice questions) to the viewers. They interact with the presenter by selecting the solution they think is correct, by pressing the corresponding button on their wireless keypad. The wires signals are then conveyed to a receiver or a base station connected to the presenter’s PC.

The audience response system collects all the signals, and the outcome is often displayed in the form of bar graphs. The presenter monitors individual feedback or receives it anonymously. Some ARS tools have additional keys that allow the anchor to ask True or False questions to the participants. Other quizzes require numerical responses.

The Pros of AR Systems

Audience voting or polling, when used in group settings, offers several benefits:

  • It improves the attentiveness of an audience. Several studies conducted in some of the leading universities demonstrate that ARS increases the students’ attentiveness.
  • The presentations become livelier, interesting, and enjoyable, thereby increasing the knowledge retention of an audience.
  • It allows the presenter to poll anonymously thus reducing the tendency of crowd psychology. Unlike in oral answers, it is difficult to see what choices others in the audience are making.
  • It provides tracking functionality that is very beneficial, especially in academic settings. Wireless polling system allows the presenter to display data instantly.
  • It enables the presenter to affirm understanding of the main ideas by the audience instantaneously. This consequently facilitates the decision-making process.
  • It allows the creation of an interactive and enjoyable learning environment.
  • The system allows collection of data or information for reporting and analysis.

The Cons of AR Systems

It’s imperative to establish that there are a few glitches associated with ARS:

  • These systems may pose moderate challenges both in their setting out and use.
  • It may not be easy for some people to afford the per unit purchase of AR systems devices.
  • The configuration and trouble-shooting of the ARS and another related presentation support programs are yet to be made.

The Applications of AR Systems

The functions of AR Systems are plenty. They are commonly used in corporate training, education, delegate voting, game shows, market research, conferences and events, continuing medical education, executive decision-making, and ROI measurement and assessment.

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