Assessment: Getting Instant Feedback

Teachers at my site would like to find a way to monitor how well all students are grasping key concepts during lessons. But they don’t want to use public indicators such as raising hands or time intensive activities like paper-and-pencil quizzes which then require grading. Do you know of a way to achieve this goal electronically?

A Personal Response System (PRS) may be what your teachers are looking for. Each student is given a handheld wireless transmitter that communicates with a receiver that is connected to a computer. When the teacher poses a question, students respond by pressing a button on the transmitter. A summary of the answers is displayed on the computer monitor, providing the teacher with instant feedback. Transmitters can work in anonymous mode or using an ID tag that allows the teacher to review individual answers later.

While there’s some fear that a PRS is just a gimmick, teachers who use them regularly say that the system is an excellent way to engage all students and is a great time saver in terms of checking answers and having immediate access to useful data. In addition to checking for understanding and quizzes, teachers are exploring the use of these systems in student decision making and in gathering pre and post data on concepts.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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