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Can a $30 Piece of Plastic Improve Learning? An Evaluation of Personal Responses Systems in Large Classroom Settings

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Abstract

Encouraging active learning with students, especially in large classrooms, can be a challenge for faculty. The present study examines the effectiveness of personal response systems (PRS), a technological intervention for facilitating active learning in large enrollment classrooms. The PRS records, tabulates and reports in real-time multiple choice responses from students using handheld devices. 512 students completed a questionnaire addressing perceived usefulness and pedagogical value of the device at the beginning and end of the semester. The results indicate high levels of satisfaction with the technology overall. The data also reveal an increase in the perceived pedagogical value of the devices over the course of the semester.

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