What is your response? It’s time to get personal
This paper describes a study which used a personal response system (PRS) for formative assessment and feedback during taught sessions. The aim of the study being to see whether there was a positive impact on the students‟ final grades in the end of module summative multiple choice question assessment. Previous research into the use of a PRS demonstrated the effectiveness of the tool to increase classroom interactivity. On evaluation, 98.5% of students identified the PRS as being easy to use, 92.5% perceived that the PRS was beneficial to their learning and 86.5% stated that it was a useful tool for preparation for examination. At the beginning of the module each student was issued with an individual, identifiable handset, which was programmed with a unique code. During the module delivery, six to eight multiple choice questions were given to the students each week as formative assessment on the topic covered. The data was saved and collated. The formative scores were then made available to the students to enable them to monitor their own progress. Each handset was linked to a database which contained the students‟ demographic details. This process allowed the module leader to identify individual student achievement. Student confidentiality was maintained, as the formative scores were released only using the unique code. The aim of the study is to identify whether the teaching and learning strategy improved overall cohort achievement in comparison to the previous cohort. Additional objectives being to discern whether the individual PRS scores can be used to predict individual student performance at summative MCQ examination, and whether attendance at the PRS sessions was in itself an indicator of success.