I let the students choose the topics we cover at the end of the course. The experience last year was that the students didn’t care. I get the same sense this year; less than 10% of the class has posted to the topic suggestion page on the class blog. Perhaps after years of being told what is important, young folk have lost the ability to decide for themselves.
I have culled the options down to a tiny list. I excluded some excellent suggestions where I could see no way to use them as a vehicle to achieve my course objectives (space travel), or I couldn’t teach them (string theory), or I doubt the majority of the class would be interested (string theory), or I doubt I can find on campus an expert who can teach to this sort of class (string theory), or where the subject can be looked up in Wikipedia (leeches). Which leaves the following.
Students, do please vote for as many topics as you want (although the polls will close after 250 respondents). Naturally, I retain the right to ignore the votes and do what I want.
For other voting interfaces, read on….