What is the Personal Response System (PRS)?
InterWrite PRS is an Audience Response Systema comprehensive response system for electronically testing, polling, or surveying a group of people. Minot State University has selected the Interwrite PRS RF system to be the standardized response system on our campus.
Grounded in the terminology of the academic environment for which it was originally developed, the arena of Audience Response Systems, the InterWrite Personal Response System makes it possible to quickly and easily track and record individual responses from the audience and provide instant feedback about the response results in the form of a chart or graph of response distribution.
Response data is scored and recorded in electronic gradebooks. PRS also has a very comprehensive reporting capability that allows you to print out information from just about anywhere in the PRS system. The PRS Receiver decodes the transmitted data, which is then relayed to the InterWrite PRS software on the computer.
The PRS software provides the functionality necessary to create an environment in which transmitted data can be electronically converted quickly and easily into useful response information. Instructors at all education levels can use PRS to evaluate and test their students. The PRS system can be used to survey and electronically record preferences, opinions, and votes. The InterWrite PRS system can be used in any situation where there is a need to quickly gather, record and evaluate response data.
Integrating a Clicker into Your Lecture
Here are some basic ways to incorporate clicker use in your classrooms:
- Facilitate class discussion by polling student opinions and discussing reason for their opinions
- Guide lectures and collect immediate feedback as your progress through the lecture, ensuring students understand keep topics
- Encourage peer instruction by allowing students to share, discuss, and change their choices before answering a question
- Collect data on course topics throughout the life of the course
- Take attendance
Why Use Clickers
- Transform large group instruction into an active learning experience
- Provide a safe environment for shy, otherwise nonparticipating students
- Provides for anonymous feedback
- Adds a fun to the classroom
Tips for Clicker Use
Below are tips for using clickers to foster active learning experiences in large lecture courses. (This information is adapted from "Twelve Tips for Using a Computerized Interactive Audience Response System" (Robertson, 2000) and "Tips for Using a Peer Response System in a Large Introductory Physics Class" (Milner-Bolotin, 2004).)
- Take the time to provide clear directions to the class.
Make sure everyone understands the process and how to use the technology. Use handouts on the clickers so students have a reference source.
- Encourage active discussion with students.
Try posting the question and asking students to discuss their answers with each other before using the clickers. When most students have come up with an answer, enable the question and allow responses. Before revealing the correct answer, discuss the answer options and allow students to explain their reasons for choosing various answers.
- Take the time to test the classroom system ahead of time.
Check out the classroom technology before class starts. Allow yourself plenty of time to set up and test the system before class. It will save you time in the long run and avoid embarrassment.
- Do not make questions to complex.
Keep questions short so they fit on the PowerPoint slide, and offer no more than four answer options.
- Do not over use the clickers.
Think carefully about the main points of a lecture and create questions to target them.
Training Resources and Userís Guides
- Interwrite PRS RF home page
- Publisher based online tutorials
- Userís Software Guide [pdf]
- Userís Clicker Guide [pdf]
- The Office of Instructional Technology one-on-one training for RF clickers.