Tech Tuesday: Student Response System

Tech Tuesday: Student Response System

From Information Resources and Technologies

A Student Response System (also known as a Classroom Response System, Audience Response System or "clicker") is a software and hardware system that allows students to respond via a hand-held keypad to questions presented by instructors.

Software on the classroom computer collects the student answers and presents them through the classroom overhead projector. This can give faculty the ability to adjust their teaching approaches – on the fly – based on feedback from students. Clickers often are used in large classes, creating connection in the large space, and works equally well in smaller classes, helping faculty members gauge student understanding.

IRT is partnering with several faculty across campus to integrate Student Response Systems into their courses. Jon Stoltz, assistant professor, Philosophy Department, has been using clickers in his class this past year. Feedback from students in his class has been overwhelmingly positive.

"First and foremost," Stoltz explained, "I use clickers to assess how well students are understanding the course material. This is done both informally, with periodic questions about the course material, but also formally, through graded quizzes; in addition, I frequently use clickers to drill – with a large number of questions – important philosophical concepts. Finally, I periodically ask reflection questions with the clickers; that is, I can use clicker questions as a way to force students to take a stand on some issues, which leads to a more fruitful classroom discussion on the questions asked."

The implementation of clickers takes little technical setup, but does require time to learn the application, prepare lectures to incorporate the technology and partner with the bookstore to sell clickers to students.

To get started or for more information, contact your IRT academic or administrative technology consultant.