Classroom response system
A classroom response system (CRS) is a device or software that enables the instructor to obtain real-time feedback from the audience. Typically the instructor poses a multiple-choice question or a selection of statements to the participants. Using the CRS each participant submits an answer anonymously. The answers are collected by the CRS and displayed as a histogram of the choices made by the participants. The CRS can be applied to different learning objectives:
- to assess participants' understanding
- to help participants to consolidate their pre-exisiting knowledge by starting discussion in pairs or small groups, who work together to identify the correct answer
- to collect data to illustrate statistical methods
- to evaluate the influence of information or arguments on participants' opinions
- to facilitate discussions
- to support participants in exploring, expanding, applying and integrating their knowledge
- to adapt training sessions according to the participants' understanding and needs
- polling questions
You will need
If you use a traditional CRS device, you will need access to a computer in class (either a laptop or the classroom's built-in computer). This computer needs to have the CRS software installed. In addition you need a receiver, which receives the participants' answers. This is usually connected to your computer via USB. In addition you need a projector connected to your computer that displays the results. Each student needs to have a clicker device. You can either request that they buy them or you can distribute them in class.
Alternatively you can use a software-based product. With this the participants can use any web-enabled device (laptop, smart phone, tablet) to submit their answers. The instructor needs to have a computer or other web-enabled device with the matching software that is linked to a projector.
Benefits and limitations
- Helps participants to remain focused during a training session
- Promotes engagement of all participants, thereby increasing the energy in the room
- Gives the instructor immediate feedback on participant understanding
- Enables participant-centred instruction
- Can be used to engage experts, by asking for their opinion
- Inserting questions at a variety of points in a lecture reduces the likelihood that learners will become fatigued in listening to or reading slides
- A technical device or software is needed, or all participants need access to a smart phone with the appropriate app.
- Appropriate multiple-choice questions need to be designed
- There is a low rísk of total CRS failure, so it's good to have a low-tech back-up in mind (e.g. raising hands or polling papers)
What do I actually do as an instructor/facilitator?
Preparation / before class
First you should identify your primary objective for using the CRS (e.g. to adapt lesson plans according to learners' understanding, to facilitate discussions, etc.). You then need to design multiple-choice questions that enable you to reach this goal. You will also need to identify or develop teaching material for the topic to be introduced as pre-class work or during class. CRSs offer a good opportunity to introduce new content as pre-course material and use the CRS during class time to let the learners explore, expand, apply and integrate their knowledge.
If you are a first-time user of CRS in your organisation, you will also need to choose an appropriate CRS device or software. It may be possible to hire devices to avoid the expense of purchasing them before you have tested how appropriate they are for your situation.
Implementation / during class
You might need to explain to your participants how the CRS works, perhaps using a simple demonstration question to give the students an opportunity to practise using it. You can then move on to using your prepared questions as part of your lesson plan. Depending on the outcome, you may need to be prepared to adapt the lesson plan.
There are no use cases available for "Classroom response system".
- Harper, B. E. (2009). ‘I’ve never seen or heard it this way!’ Increasing student engagement through the use of technology-enhanced feedback. Teaching Educational Psychology, 3(3).
- Kyei-Blankson, L. Enhancing student learning in a graduate research and statistics course with clickers. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 32(4).
- Duggan, P. M., Palmer, E., & Devitt, P. (2007). Electronic voting to encourage interactive lectures: A randomised trial. BMC Medical Education, 7(25).
- Miller, R. G., Ashar, B. H., & Getz, K. J. (2003). Evaluation of an audience response system for the continuing education of health professionals. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 23, 109-115
- Moy, J. R., Rodenbaugh, D. W., Collins, H. L., & DiCarlo, S. E. (2000). Who wants to be a physician? An educational tool for reviewing pulmonary physiology. Advances in Physiology Education, 24(1), 30-37.
- Pileggi, R., & O’Neill, P. (2008). Team-based learning using an audience response system: An innovative method of teaching diagnosis to undergraduate dental students. Journal of Dental Education, 72(10), 1182-1188.
- Rao, S. P., & DiCarlo, S. E. (2000). Peer instruction improves performance on quizzes. Advances in Physiology Education, 24(1), 51-55.
- Gauci, S. A., Dantas, A. M., Williams, D. A., & Kemm, R. E. (2009). Promoting student-centered active learning in lectures with a personal response system. Advances in Physiology Education, 33, 60-71
- Levesque, A. (2011). Using clickers to facilitate problem-solving skills. Cell Biology Education, 10(4), 406-417.
- Preszler, R.W., Dawe, A., Shuster, C.B., & Shuster, M. (2007). Assessment of the effects of student response systems on student learning and attitudes over a broad range of biology courses. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 6(1), 29-41.
Examples and materials
- Robertson, L. J. (2000). Twelve tips for using a computerised interactive audience response system. Medical Teacher, 22(3), 237-239.
- Brickman, P. (2006). The case of the druid dracula: A directed “clicker” case study on DNA fingerprinting. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36(2), 48-53.
- Hatch, J., Jensen, M., & Moore, R. (2005). Manna from heaven or “clickers” from hell: Experiences with an electronic response system. Journal of College Science Teaching, 34(7), 36-39.
- Suchman, E., Uchiyama, K., Smith, R., & Bender, K. (2006). Evaluating the use of a classrom response system in a microbiology course. Microbiology Education, 7, 3-11
Image by Kristen Moss under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license
Breakout sessions in a learning context refer to a technique where subgroups are formed during a lecture-type event. Students are assigned to one breakout group (typically 2-4 groups are formed) and given instructions on what they need to do. Topics are assigned to each group (either the same or different topics). Examples of topics can include
- discussing a case which is based on the topic of the lecture
- students analysing their learning so far and defining additional learning needs or interest or
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The break-out group can be student or teacher/facilitator lead, depending on the design of the break-out group. A break out group typically ends with reporting the results etc back to the entire class.95.2% Details