Keypads are audience response devices that look like little calculators or remote controls. They are used in group meetings or events to collect audience responses or opinions, allowing audience members to interact with presentations, give feedback, and become more engaged in large-group settings. Keypads are often used as an added element in large-group deliberation and dialogue events.
This resource lists and links to experts in keypad response system as well as mobile device response systems, as recommended by NCDD members in April 2010.
This resource was updated in 2021 to remove tools no longer available for use.
When using a response system, each participant receives a keypad. The facilitator or presenter, who uses a visual presentation such as a PowerPoint, asks the audience multiple-choice questions, which each person responds to with their keypad. The data is then collected by a wireless receiver and sent to a computer, which instantly displays a visual representation of the data. Responses can be collected either anonymously or traced to individual audience members.
These keypad response systems have a number of applications. They can be used for voting or polling, to assess or test knowledge (for example, in a classroom setting, or to determine how well the audience has understood key points of a presentation), and to quickly gather data (such as demographic information or to confirm who is in attendance). The systems are used in a variety of settings and have been utilized in classrooms; at conferences, events, and corporate trainings; for market research; and for decision-making and support.
Much of the info above is from the Wikipedia article on Audience Response at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience_response. Also be sure to check out David Campt and Michael Freeman’s 2009 IJP2 article “Talk through the hand: Using audience response keypads to augment the facilitation of small group dialogue” at academia.edu.
Some Experts in Audience Response Technology…If you are looking for an expert in audience response technology, you can contact the following keypad response system facilitators and trainers. They were recommended by NCDD members in an April 2010 listserv discussion and through comments on an NCDD blog post.
Padgett Communications (www.pcipro.com) – Padgett Communications offers a variety of wireless keypad systems for rental. Those interested can visit the website for more information and price quotes. (suggested by Bill McGowan)
AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org) – AmericaSpeaks offered keypad training and rentals for events before closing its doors. You can learn about the structure of their meetings includind the use of keypads on the website above. (suggested by Janet Fiero)
Turning Point (www.turningtechnologies.com) – Turning Technologies offers the TurningPoint audience response system and rentable keypads, which can be used with Microsoft PowerPoint. They also offer ResponseWare™, a response system which allows participants to use their mobile devices and computers to respond through the internet. (suggested by Janet Fiero)
Walt Roberts – Walt once used a custom-developed polling system called “Possibility,” which he helped to develop. He offers innovative and integrated approaches to keypad polling-assisted deliberation and decision making. To learn more about his keypad response system, go to http://waltsearch.wordpress.com/about-walt-blog/keypad-polling.
Jim Snider of iSolon.org also noted that because of the prevalence of use of keypad technology in college or public school classrooms, it’s possible that these schools may have both underutilized keypads available and experts in this technology. For more about the use of keypads in educational settings, check out this article.
Mobile Device Response SystemsThe following organizations provide audience response services through mobile devices.
Poll Everywhere (www.polleverywhere.com) – Poll Everywhere is a text message voting application for live audiences using on-screen presentations. Participants can vote, comment, or ask questions to a presenter through text messages or Twitter. (suggested by Lars Hasselblad Torres)
Interactive Text (www.textizen.com) – An SMS-based surveying tool that has been used as part of an urban planning project in Philadelphia. “Open civic dialogue to new participants with a powerful mix of offline outreach and online engagement. We’re citizen feedback for the digital age.”
Angage, formerly PowerVote (www.angage.com) – “PowerVote’s electronic voting system is the perfect tool to engage and interact with your audience in real-time. It has been used effectively in a variety of sectors and business situations to measure audience response and present instantaneous results in clear graphical images.”