In the seminar "Toxicology of auxiliary and harmful substances II" voting devices were used with whose help students were able to answer questions on the topics that were presented in the course. By using these classroom response systems, there was an increase in the motivation and attention of the students and the atmosphere in the classroom also became more relaxed.

Table of contents


Course title"Toxicology of auxiliary and harmful substances II"
Course typeSeminar
Department/InstituteBiology, Chemistry, Pharmacy
Degree programPharmacology
LecturerDr. Vivian Kral
No. of participants40 - 80 depending on the semester
PhaseDuring the official semester
DurationTwo in-class sessions


  • ActiVote
  • Blackboard (material, communication) 
  • A wiki as a depository for lectures so that all students could review these and comment on them

Illustration 1: Voting devices (Image source: CeDiS, Athanasios Vassiliou)


The students are split up into two groups (A and B). Every group has two mandatory meeting dates during which the presentations are held. Two respective students give a short presentation on a toxilogical subject (e.g. on an auxiliary or harmful substance) that should then be discussed in-class. In the past the experience made was that the concentration level of the students decreases when the presentations are being held. Therefore, the following was tried out: After three respective presentations multiple choice / yes-no questions were asked using ActiVote. These questions can be answered by the students in the audience by using their voting devices. The questions and answers were created by the lecturer before the presentations. The solutions and percentage distribution of the results were presented in the format of diagrams using a PC/projector. For this seminar a Blackboard course as well as a wiki were set up and the ActiVote voting devices were borrowed from CeDiS.  

Experiences made by the lecturer

The use of ActiVote was assessed positively by many of the students and the lecturer herself.

Further information

Support offered by CeDiS

  • Consulting services for the implementation of digital solutions in teaching: The Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) has extensive experience of many years when it comes to the implementation of digital media and systems within the fields of teaching, learning and research. We offer a wide variety of consulting services on the implementation of these tools and systems within the entire academic scope and especially at Freie Universität Berlin. 
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers of other universities CeDiS offers training courses and workshops on the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These course enable participants to implement online elements within their own sphere of teaching.
  • The Executive Board of the Freie Universität supports e-learning initiatives: With the e-learning funding program financial resources are provided to lecturers that enrich and improve their courses quality-wise by implementing technological and media-related support. All of the academic staff teaching, the lecturers or even the institutions of the Freie Universität - without the Charité-Universitätsmedizin - can be supported within this program.