ARS - A Case Study - Dr Margaret Wexler ARS - A Case Study - Dr Margaret Wexler

In this case study Dr Margaret Wexler in BIO discusses using Audience Response Systems for quizzes in revision lectures.

Type of session(s)
Revision lectures

29 students, 3rd year Microbial Biotechnology module

26 students, Masters (Biotechnology for a sustainable future), Biofuels, Bioremediation and Bioproducts module

Brief description of the session(s)
Both sessions included a quiz of approximately 25 questions.  The quiz comprised multiple choice questions, which included all of the topics covered in lectures. It took place the week before the students' sat their course tests.

Notes on the way system was used/integrated in the session(s)
Students used the audience response system to answer each question.  The correct answer was displayed, and the proportion of students who selected each of the possible answers was shown as a bar graph.  A brief explanation of why an answer was correct (or incorrect) immediately followed each question.

Reflections on the experience of using audience response systems
In general, the students appeared to enjoy the quiz.  Several mentioned this to me afterwards and said it helped them revise for their course test.

No question was correctly answered by all students, therefore explanations and discussion followed every question.

It is difficult to determine whether the students learnt more from the quiz than they would have from a general revision lecture.

Advantages associated with having a quiz were that students became familiar with the types of questions they would have in their multiple choice test, and other lecturers' material could easily be incorporated in the quiz.  Although it is not necessary to use the audience response system to conduct a quiz, the students did appear to enjoy using them.

Reflections on the loaning process
The loaning process was straightforward, and library staff and those responsible for demonstrating the software were helpful.

Future plans or additional comments
The quiz took a considerable amount to time to prepare, as the questions needed to be cut and pasted into the TurningPoint programme and each page prepared separately.  Once this had been done, the quiz can be used again (with only minor changes) in the same modules in future years, as it is not an assessed piece of work.  The programme is simple to learn.