Personal Response Systems
Clicker System Comparison (PDF)
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Electronic Student Response Found Feasible in Large Science Lecture Hall
Shapiro, Joel A.
Journal of College Science Teaching, 1997
Describes an inexpensive, homemade student response system that sparks student attention and participation in large lecture halls. Highlights the goals and design of the system as well as its current status and future plans.
*Available in Briggs Library (non-circulating)
Manna from Heaven or “Clickers” from Hell: Experiences with an Electronic Response System
Hatch, Jay; Jenson, Murray; Moore, Randy
Journal of College Science Teaching, 2005
Instructors used an electronic response system to enhance student-centered learning in large and small college biology classes. The system worked well to engage students in learning the subject matter and to assess their prior knowledge and misconceptions. It provided useful feedback to students as well as instructors. Problems encountered resulted mainly from not having permanent installation of the hardware components in the large class.
*Available in Briggs Library (non-circulating)
The Virtual Classroom: The Next Steps
Martin, Merle; Taylor, Stanley
Educational Technology (v. 37, n. 5, pp. 51-55, Sept-Oct.), 1997
Discusses how to counter problems in coupling technical/technological courses with distance learning. Presents a model which incorporates up to nine different technologies (television; student response units; voice mail; electronic mail; fax; CD-ROM; Internet; videotape; and computer) and addresses administrative solutions for delivering such a course, including addressing faculty training needs.
*Available through Inter-Library Loan
A Student Response System for Increasing Engagement, Motivation, and Learning in High Enrollment Lectures
Hall, Richard; Collier, Harvest; Thomas, Marcie; Hilgers, Michael
Proceedings of the Eleventh Americas Conference on Information Systems, Omaha, NE, USA August 11
Student response systems (SRS) are devices that allow students to provide categorical and numerical responses to questions embedded within a lecture, and the responses can be tallied and scored in various ways to provide immediate feedback to the students and/or professors. In the fall of 2003 at the University of Missouri- Rolla, questions were systematically integrated into large general chemistry lecture sections, and students used the response system to answer. In order to evaluate the system, students' test scores were compared with previous years, and a survey was administered with the aim of evaluating the system at the end of the course when SRS was used. Test scores indicated substantial improvement from previous years. In addition, survey results indicated that a significant majority of the students found that the SRS made the course more engaging, motivational, and increased leraning. Qualitative analyses of students' open-ended responses provided support and additional insights for the quantitative analyses.
A list of articles on the use of PRSs can be seen at here
1) Requires unobstructed line-of-sight
2) Receiver can only accept one signal at a time. Students may have to make multiple attempts before it is recorded.
3) Twin Cities campus reports that these are problems and can be costly.
1) Not line-of-sight dependant
2) Receivers support two-way communication, allowing them to acknowledge responses.
3) Receivers can be portable, making installation easier.
4) Clickers tend to be more expensive.
5) UMD and Twin Cities both prefer this technology.
1) Uses existing wireless network, works with laptops and PDAs.
2) Web-based forms allow greater flexibility.
Click here for more information and comparison from the UMTC
Click here to see a brand comparison spreadsheet we have created (requires Excel)
NDSU runs a listserv for PRS use. Information on the listserv, and a list of faculty using the system, can be found here. A list of articles on the use of PRSs can be seen here.
We have not been able to find any information on using PRS systems with Moodle. However, most PRS systems can export data as .csv files, which should be useable by Moodle. Many systems advertise integration with other systems, such as Blackboard and WebCT.
Numina II SRS
Free web-based system. It runs on WiFi devices, such as laptops, PDAs, and smartphones. The company does not appear to offer dedicated remotes. The software supports multiple-choice, true/false, sliding scale, and graphical questions. Used by a number of schools, including UMN (a complete listing can be seen by going to the site and clicking "students" link. Check out pricing information on their website.
This is a wireless add-on to Texas Instruments calculators (TI-83+, TI-84+). It can send data files and can view screenshots and questions. It appears to be used primarily by highschools. Check out pricing information on their website.
This company offers IR and RF systems, as well as software for laptops and PocketPCs. These systems integrate with powerpoint, and operates with Windows only. Pricing information is not available online, however you can email them for a quote.
Interwrite offers both IR and RF systems also; however, these systems are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Pricing information is not available online.
Iclicker offers only RF systems. They are $25 per remote & $300 per receiver; however, they offer one base free for adoption of over 100 students. The software is open source, and supports Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. The system does not depend on specific presentation software, and it is portable (does not requre installation). It should be noted that the remote has fewer buttons than many others, limiting it to true/false and multiple-choice questions.
This company offers IR, RF, and online (subscription based) systems. They are both PC and Mac compatible. The IR receiver is $250, IR pads are $5, the RF receiver is $350, the RF pads are $15 but require $15 activation fee per term. Other pricing options appear to be negotiable. Also, a large list of schools using this system can be seen here.
This company offers a variety of IR and RF transmitters. The software integrates with Word or Powerpoint (depending on package), but information on system requirements cannot be found. Pricing information does not appear to be available online either.
Quicktally offers only RF systems. They appear to be Windows-only, and are independent of presentation software. Price quotes are available here.
This company, which appears to be targeted for businesses, offers software for PRS integration with Powerpoint and is Windows-only as well. The system works with several brands of IR remotes; however, they recommend ClickaPad (which does not currently have information on products).
It seems that most universities do not yet have a general policy on PRS systems. The Twin Cities campus warns that using multiple systems is problematic, but they do not appear to have a selected standard. Most PRS remotes can be re-sold (although some require per-semester fees), and some bookstores do buy these back.
Twin Cities campus
Donald J. Liu has been using a PRS for his economics courses. He may have much information on PRS and how he has integrated it into his classes.
The UMN medical school has installed a PRS in their 1st year classroom.
Jolee West, Wesleyan University
James Mack, University of Cincinnati
Dee Silverthorn, University of Texas Austin
Ross Cheit, Brown University
NDSU runs a listserv for PRS use. Information on the listserv, and a list of faculty using the system, can be found at here
Interference with cell phones and other equipment does not to be a problem thus far. RF systmes usually operate in the unregulated 900 mhtz band (corldless phones and some other systems share this frequency, but technology on this band is generally designed to be resistant to interference).
Some systems offer bundles with textbooks; however, savings are small,and such systems are not usually designed for re-use or re-sale. Stand-alone packages are typically $20 to $30 dollars. Some systems offer much cheaper remotes, but they also require per-semester activation fees.