Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of a Student Response System on Short- and Long-Term Learning in a Drug Literature Evaluation Course

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of a Student Response System on Short- and Long-Term Learning in a Drug Literature Evaluation Course

Article excerpt


Mentkowski, in her seminal work, calls for "learning that lasts," and defines that as the successful integration of learning, development, and performance. (1) To promote "learning that lasts," in pharmacy education, faculty members need to develop and provide educational experiences that engage students and provide them with opportunities to apply, problem solve, and evaluate their own learning. Lecture is the most commonly used teaching method and may be the most effective method to convey a large amount of information to a large number of students. Faculty members, therefore, are continually challenged to develop techniques that can be used in the large lecture setting that engage students and provide them with appropriate experiences that promote "learning that lasts." The average student typically pays attention only for the first 10-20 minutes of a lecture. (2) While this assumption is debatable, (3) it behooves educators to be aware of this and create methods to continually engage students during lectures and make learning more active. The use of technology such as student response systems allows for more student engagement and interaction, which may improve the quality of students' learning. (4-7)

A student response system, also known as an audience response system, classroom response system, personal response system, and electronic voting system, is an automated system that allows for interaction and feedback between an audience and a speaker. (4-8) This wireless system allows the speaker to ask the audience multiple-choice questions, receive responses from audience members via the transmission of signals from a remote-control-like device called a clicker, and immediately displays the responses on a screen in the form of a chart. It is a way for teachers to question students and see immediate responses.

The use of student response systems is increasing in popularity as a tool to aid in student learning in various disciplines, including the health sciences, and at various levels of education, including postgraduate education. (8-13) Both students and teachers may benefit from the two-way communication made possible through the use of this technology. Teachers are able to direct students' attention to key concepts through the use of student response system questions in class. (9) The instant feedback of a student response system also allows teachers to evaluate whether students understand the material and then to tailor lectures toward concepts with which students seem to be struggling. (5-6) Students also receive immediate feedback to measure their own understanding of the key concepts taught. In addition, students who are not confident or who maybe less inclined to speak in pubic are more likely to participate using the student response system because all responses are anonymous. (4)

Research on the impact of the student response system on education has shown that the use of student response systems can improve student attendance, attention, motivation, (9) and engagement. (8-10) Studies examined the impact of student response systems on student learning and found that students perceive their learning is enhanced through the use of clickers. (8-10) A few studies compared average class grade across cohorts from different academic years and found that students in the year in which a student response system was used performed better academically than in previous years without the student response system. (9,11,14) Randomized controlled studies found that students who used the student response system had higher quiz scores than students who did not use the student response system. (15-17) These studies utilized a small sample of radiology residents,15 medical students in tutorials during their first clinical year,16 and undergraduate students in an introductory computer science course using a discussion format. (17)

Pharmacy education is beginning to explore and examine the use of student response systems. …

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