Tests, quizzes, homework and now homecoming voting: most everything is now online and more specifically, on Blackboard. With many students putting in fake names, curse words and misspellings, could the new system have affected the final results of one of the biggest popularity contests of the year?
After switching from using students’ English class to enter homecoming votes to using Blackboard, some argue that it may have an effect on the results of the competition and should not be used again next year.
“A survey in class takes about five minutes so I don’t know why we don’t continue to do that,” senior, and this year’s new homecoming queen, Maura Long said.
With voting on Blackboard, it is harder to monitor who votes and who doesn’t. In an English classroom like the previous year, all students are given time to vote in order to ensure full participation.
“I don’t think we should do this again next year, it just doesn’t make sense. You get so many less voters so the results are skewed,” Long said.
In addition to the high school mischief that occurred with the online votes, the voter turnout this year is dramatically less than it had been in past years.
“Although it didn’t have as good of a turnout this year, the vote quality is much better,” junior Paige Lambert said.
As a member of the Student Council Association (SCA) Lambert was a part of the team of members that worked to get the Blackboard voting going. The SCA set up a table at lunches with iPads available for students to put in their votes.
When nobody went up to the table, the SCA chose to bring the voting to the students, passing around the iPads and asking students to vote. This strategy was to make sure veryone remembered to vote as it sometimes slipped their minds.
“There wasn’t as much of a turn out because there wasn’t anybody enforcing it, but you did get people who actually wanted someone on the court.” Lambert said, “Instead of just selecting random names, they actually had to think about it and focus on who they wanted,”
So did the Blackboard voting have a positive impact on the nomin a t i o n s , m a k i n g it more about a person’s a c t u a l choice or did it narrow the v o t i n g range due to voter a p a t h y ? The SCA plans to continue to use Blackboard for voting next year because it facilitates the accuracy of voter counts. Whether this will be beneficial or detrimental in the coming years is to be determined.