Creation and adoption: Moving into the mainstream: Researching the institutional introduction of EVS, from the realm of the enthusiasts to supporting the later adopters -- 246 -- Short (oral) Paper
This paper reports on the early findings from a part JISC-funded project into Evaluating Electronic Voting Systems (EVS). While the use of EVS has been widely researched and reported by those who were previously using EVS or similar systems from 2003 onwards e.g. Draper, Davis, Nichol, Oliver inter alia, the adoption of the technologies was typically focused in single academic schools or departments. At the University of Hertfordshire the enthusiasm for using EVS was first taken up by a local group of researcher-practitioners reporting on the use of EVS in Radiography, Engineering and other academic Schools. The early work both in Hertfordshire and elsewhere was generally both concentrated in and led by those who might be described as technology enthusiasts as defined in (Moore, 1991). Since 2009, there has been a growing body of more recent research into EVS use in the university classroom of which this is a part (see inter alia Lorimer and Hilliard, 2009).
The University of Hertfordshire has invested extensively over the last couple of years in large-scale deployment of EVS technology to enhance assessment and feedback. This builds on earlier research carried out by members of its Blended Learning Unit (BLU). Since September 2010 more than 7,000 EVS handsets have been purchased for use in campus-based programmes across the university. Researching the move to the mainstream adoption of the EVS technology has included a reflection on how to provide extra staff support and training, as well as on students’ expectations and views on the use of EVS in class. Additionally, investment in the infrastructure has been undertaken to enable the seamless use of EVS technologies in all teaching rooms, whether lecture theatres, seminar rooms, or workshop areas.
This session reports on the views of staff and students recently surveyed and interviewed on their use of EVS. It considers whether the barriers and hindrances which were anticipated by some reluctant late adopters of the technology have now been overcome. The authors see this as a local ‘confrontation with reality’. The reporting on this research includes reflection on the nature of the ‘scaffolding’ introduced to encourage those less familiar with technology in the classroom, and the management of the perceived overload for those developing additional test questions, as well as reflecting on the students’ perceptions of the deployment of large-scale technologies.
The authors believe that this session will be of interest to colleagues (practitioners and policy makers) who are considering the challenges of moving from local autonomy in the choice and deployment of technologies to the adoption of an institutional-wide specific technology. They welcome the opportunity which the session will offer for discussion and comparison with other conference participants about their own experiences of researching academic and student responses to large-scale technology introduction. They anticipate the outcome of this discussion will also be of benefit to session participants.