Research into the use of Student Response Systems

There are many journal articles that describe and evaluate the use of Student Response Systems in Higher Education contexts, and this page highlights some key contributions.

Using classroom response systems for creative interaction and engagement with students

Middleditch, P., & Moindrot, W. (2015). Cogent Economics & Finance, 3(1), 1119368.

“The purpose of this paper is to highlight our findings that use of a CRS system during the lecture can increase student satisfaction and engagement with their taught course, also how we might react to the seismic changes we have seen in the use of technology by students, or young people in general. After a literature review, we describe our developmental path from the adoption of CRS to a more practiced and detailed use of the technology. We present evidence of the students’ reaction to the introduction of this interaction technology and demonstrate positive impact made upon student satisfaction and enjoyment, very much aligned to the re-emphasis of National Student Survey (NSS) scoring on student engagement and collaboration. Finally, we conclude and offer our recommendations to convenors considering novel tools to further student engagement or those seeking to create an interactive classroom.”

This well-written paper clearly presents arguments in favour  of the use of classroom response systems (CRS – which we call SRS Student Response Systems) and offers a useful set of references if you want to read more deeply. It describes the evolution of their use of CRS from simple polls to peer instruction and free-text comments for student feedback:

“Students began using the [feedback] tool to convey their level of understanding on the taught material. This facility proved particularly useful in reflecting on material presented and also on how certain areas might benefit from further explanation. … Further to this, students developed their own ways of using the tool: favourable comments, practical requests and even proposals for pedagogical innovation.”

Perhaps most useful is the sense the paper gives of how the academic’s use of CRS has developed over several years of use, and how student satisfaction and engagement with this large-cohort first-year Economics course has significantly improved as a consequence.

“Clickers” as Catalysts for Transformation of Teachers

Yifat Ben-David Kolikant , Denise Drane & Susanna Calkins (2010), College Teaching, 58:4, 127-135

“This paper presents three case studies of instructors who used PRS in undergraduate science and math classes at a research-intensive institution in the Midwest, USA. All three instructors reported having to make significant adjustments to their teaching over time in order to transformtheir respective learning environments and fully realize the benefits of PRS.”

For me the value of this paper is the instructors’ reflections on their use of SRS and the ways in which they adapted their practice to obtain the classroom dynamic they valued – largely based on the peer instruction principle.



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