As academics rapidly became acquainted with tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom during lockdown, a downside that quickly became apparent was the reluctance of students to turn on their webcams and microphones. Teaching to a blank screen without the non-verbal cues and responses of students sitting in a seminar room or lecture hall can be disconcerting and soul destroying. However, interactive polling tools such as Vevox can break down barriers and encourage audience participation, helping staff to identify what’s working well and what isn’t.
At the University of Southampton, staff were encouraged to use Vevox during synchronous online sessions, helping to keep the learning community intact by supporting the two-way communication that is essential for dynamic and responsive teaching.
With universities continuing to deliver the majority of their teaching online, what might have been adequate for ‘emergency online teaching’ in the Spring may no longer be fit for purpose. This presents the community with great opportunities for innovation and collaboration, and it is imperative that we share our practice and support each other.
During this session, Joe Probert (Vevox) will outline how Vevox initially responded to the crisis and the challenges faced by an edtech supplier, how the product roadmap was quickly adapted to the immediate and predicted needs of the future and how Vevox’s mantra of Valuing Every Voice supports the university community at this time. David Read (University of Southampton) will share a user’s perspective of how Vevox facilitated staff-student interaction during the Spring and in a wide range of novel contexts since.