Dotmocracy is a teaching strategy that allows educators and students to gain an understanding of opinions or ideas in a quick, visual way. It can also be used as a voting technique.
- Create any list of options. This could be a statement or a list of choices. For a statement, create a scale ranging from “Strongly Agree” to Strongly Disagree” (see figure 1 below). For a list of choices, create an activity in which the whole class can participate (see figure 2 below).
- Post the options on a wall or a board. Distribute an equal number of sticker dots to each student. Tell them each dot represents a vote. Note: If stickers aren’t available, have students draw checkmarks or stars instead.
- Ask students to vote by placing their dot beside their choice.
- Facilitate a class discussion regarding the findings or results.
Dotmocracy is an excellent way to get a snapshot of class opinion. Consider using it when you would like student input.
When using the Dotmocracy strategy, students can see the results of all votes cast. For this reason, use judgement in choosing topics and reinforce class norms for respectful behaviour when students are participating.