MANUSCRIPT: Good experiences with an audience response system used in medical education
Audience response systems (ARS) are increasingly being used to heighten participants’ involvement. Knowledge of technical and pedagogical challenges is, however, limited. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate ARS as a tool for 1) evaluation, 2) knowledge testing, 3) attention raising and 4) discussion stimulation.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
ARS was used 33 times at four different courses. Data include voting results, observations, questionnaires and interviews.
A total of 215 participants and 12 teachers were included. The majority of the participants found ARS suitable for course evaluation. The teachers found it useful for obtaining the results immediately and thereby for receiving feedback on their own teaching. The participants and the teachers found ARS suitable for knowledge testing. ARS was used as an instrument to increase activity and attention. The system was found to increase the level of concentration and the interactivity. ARS was used to initiate discussions. The participants found that the questions could be a good starting point for discussion. The teachers found it challenging to comment on answers. Our experiences are that thorough planning and preparation is needed for the successful implementation of ARS.
Our experiences indicate that ARS is suitable for course evaluation. Overall, we find ARS a valuable technology that may stimulate discussion and support learning, but teachers need to be technically and pedagogically well prepared to use the tool. The use of ARS does not in itself entail that the quality of the teaching increases.