Personal Response Systems
Most people’s experience of a personal response
system (PRS) is in popular television programmes, such as “Who wants
to be a millionaire?”, where the participant can ask the audience to
assist in the response to difficult questions. This technology (also known as classroom
response systems or audience response systems) is increasingly being
used in universities, as it enables the lecturer
to interactively engage with a large number of students at the same
time. It is being used at Essex to enhance the student's learning
experience, as well as monitor student attendance at lectures.
The process of using PRS, as illustrated in the image below, involves:
- The lecturer poses a question, which can either be carried
out verbally or displayed using presentation software or from
within the PRS software itself.
- Each student has a handset that allows them to choose the
preferred option for the answer.
- The handset is then used to transmit this information to
a receiver which is attached to the lecturer’s computer.
- The software can be used to aggregate the responses and
produce a graphical representation of the results, which can
be displayed to the students via a data projector. These
results can be discussed and the lecturer can then choose how
to proceed with the next part of the lecture.
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Your tutor should
inform you if he/she is using PRS to support your learning. If in doubt, please check with your
tutor or your course administrator.