Student Response Systems
A classroom technology that is popular among students and faculty are student response systems. The latest versions of the software/hardware systems have become easy to learn to use and have extended the flexibility with greater numbers of features, including mobile accessibility.
Each student uses a transmitter that operates on the same concept as a TV remote. A receiver/detector logs the signals from each student’s transmitter as they answer a question posed on the projector screen. Software allows instant graphing of the anonymous responses of the students.
There are numerous pedagogical reasons to adopt a student response system in a classroom. Several of the advantages stem from the fact that students enjoy using the system so much. Because they like using the system, they are more likely to attend class regularly. Because they expect questions to be posed on the course material being covered, they pay attention better during class. The fun the students have using the system makes for better learning. These benefits accrue regardless whether the course is one for majors or non-majors. For students taking a course outside of their major, these systems are especially useful in helping students become more intrigued with the course content.
Many of the companies provide the software for free, and they charge for the physical hardware. OU does not provide hardware in classrooms at this time. However, you may ask Classroom Support to download the software to a classroom computer via the normal service request form. It takes no more time to set up in the classroom than for any other classroom use of computers.
The detector, computer, and cable must be purchased for use by the instructor in the classroom. Clickers can either be provided for the students or the students can be required to purchase them themselves. They can be made available through bookstores. Or, many textbook publishers now incorporate the cost of the clicker as part of the supplemental materials accompanying a textbook. Selected textbooks are already providing Student Response System questions tied to the textbook material the same way they provide test bank questions.
Vendors of student response systems
i-Clicker operates on radio frequency and in conjunction with or within other programs. A PowerPoint slide can become a question integrated among other slides. The individual clicker identification is matched to the student assigned to that clicker. So, results can be moved into a grade sheet automatically. Results can be printed in different formats or moved into Excel. A roster that matches clickers to students can be created by the instructor or via a couple of approaches to registration – one online or during a registration classroom session at the beginning of a term.
Finally, what is the main reason for using a student response system? It is fun for the instructor too! The satisfaction of using a solution to some of the long-standing problems in creating the best possible learning environment makes going through the learning curve to use a new classroom technology worth it.
adapted from Student Response Systems By Dagmar Cronn