Hit the Target
A way to visualize and experience "crowdsourcing" issues...

Evan Golub
Department of Computer Science
Human-Computer Interaction Lab
University of Maryland

Hit the Target is a .NET application that can be used to allow faculty and students to explore some of the issues related to "crowdsourcing" on the Internet. The application works with the Turning Technologies XR anf RF ResponseCard keypads. This application was created while working on incorporating the Turning Technology RF classroom response system into an Information Technology class. In discussion a crowdsourced resource such as Wikipedia, you can discuss the challenges of maintaining quality and problems such as edit wars, but how do you demonstrate just how difficult it could be? This application was created to allow for a more direct experience for the students. They were first asked to work as a group to move the purple disc into the target, using their RF Response Cards as joysticks (the numbers acted as directions except the "5" which acted to cancel out the next direction received). The class (of approximately 60 students) quickly achieved this goal. Next, 1/6th of the class was asked to work at keeping the disc out of the target while the other 5/6th worked on getting the disc into the target. The application is posted for free for educational purposes only.

When the application first loads, the channel of the receiver should be shown. If you would like to change it, you may do so by entering a new channel number and clicking "update". Once polling has been started, as student 'votes' come in, they will be shown in the textbox along the left-hand side of the window. You can move the starting location of the purple disc either using the "Randomly Move Ball" button, or by directly clicking and dragging it to a new location.

Figure 1: The application when it first loads.

Once polling has started, student "votes" move the disc. Each vote will move it in the corresponding direction (with the exception of the "5" vote which cancels out the next vote or a "0" vote which does nothing). When the purple disc has moved partially inside the target, the target will change its appearance to have shaded stripes.

Figure 2: The class-controlled disc has been moved partially into the target.

When the class moves the disc completely inside the target, the target will appear red. However, if the disc is moved outside in part or full, the color of the target will revert as well.

Figure 3: The class-controlled disc has been moved fully inside the target.

All student moves are saved to a text file, stored in the same directory as the one which contains the application. The file name is of the form logfile.year_month_day - starttime.txt and contains the starting position of the class-controlled disc, as well as a line for each student vote containing the time of the vote, the response device ID, and the vote's value. If the disc is moved fully inside the target, an additional line is placed in the logfile that indicates GOAL!

This application was created as part of a project to explore the use of "clickers" in a non-majors information technology course in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland.

You can download the Windows Version 0.1.5 in a ZIP file containing the executable.

You might also be interested in A TurningPoint Guidebook for Educators.

This software is provided for free for educational purposes only.
If you are interested in using this software for commercial purposes contact the author, Evan Golub, at egolub@acm.org.

DISCLAIMER: This software is provided on an "as-is" basis, without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties that the software is free of defects, merchantable, fit for a particular purpose or non-infringing. User bears the entire risk as to the quality and performance of the software. Should the software prove defective in any respect, user assumes sole responsibility and liability for the entire cost of any service and repair in connection therewith. No use of this software is authorized except under this disclaimer.

This page last modified on Friday, 27-Aug-2010 11:04:09 EDT.