Abstract: Audience response systems (ARSs) permit students to answer electronically displayed multiple choice questions using a remote control device. All responses are instantly presented, in chart form, then reviewed and discussed by the instructor and the class. A brief history of ARSs is offered including a discussion of the 26 labels used to identify this technology. Next a detailed review of 67 peer-reviewed papers from 2000 to 2007 is offered presenting the benefits and challenges associated with the use of an ARS. Key benefits for using ARSs include improvements to the classroom environment (increases in attendance, attention levels, participation and engagement), learning (interaction, discussion, contingent teaching, quality of learning, learning performance), and assessment (feedback, formative, normative). The biggest challenges for teachers in using ARSs are time needed to learn and set up the ARS technology, creating effective ARS questions, adequate coverage of course material, and ability to respond to instantaneous student feedback. Student challenges include adjusting to a new method of learning, increased confusion when multiple perspectives are discussed, and negative reactions to being monitored. It is concluded that more systematic, detailed research is needed in a broader range of contexts.
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