Stduent Response Systems (SRS) are a great way to break up a lecture and to get students thinking and interacting, while enabling you to more effectively support their learning through gaining valuable information on their understanding (Trumbull and Lash, 2013).
The use of SRS typically involves the teacher asking questions for which immediate feedback is provided. Initially, SRS used dedicated devices or ‘clickers’, but today they increasingly make use of students’ smartphones. This is a cheaper solution for the institution and incurs little or no cost to students, whose smartphones can be connected to the internet via wifi. Where tools involve voting by SMS, many students’ mobile bundles often allow limitless (or implausibly high) quantities of free text messages. There are now a large number of Web services that allow teachers to ask pose multiple-choice questions to their students, collect the responses anonymously in real time and display a summary of the results.
Benefits for teaching and learning
Help students participate and focus in lectures.
Give all students a voice, not just the usual suspects. Even in large lecture theatres, audience response encourages everyone to participate and contribute. It can give those who might otherwise feel too intimidated a chance to get involved (Farrow, 2017).
Instantly identify any gaps in your students’ knowledge and track how their understanding changes during a lecture or over a whole course. You could even use it to collect feedback on your lecture.
Teachers utilizing software, clickers, and related technology should be aware of student accessibility concerns, and consider alternative provision or additional support for those who are technologically inexperienced or barred from maintaining their own electronic devices.
How to get started
We have a trial licence of Meetoo web service until the end of August 2018. We will then review usage and feedback on the system before deciding whether to apply for funding to launch a wider pilot of SRS at Oxford.