Atypical use of audience response system provides students the opportunity to formatively assess faculty teaching and improve learning outcomes
AffiliationIndiana University School of Medicine
TitleAtypical use of audience response system provides students the opportunity to formatively assess faculty teaching and improve learning outcomes
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Use of audience response systems (“clickers”) offer faculty the ability to formatively assess student learning. Unfortunately, this technology is very rarely - if ever - used to provide students the opportunity to formatively assess faculty teaching. Over the past two years, Indiana University School of Medicine completely reformed its curriculum. Reform efforts led to a variety of innovative and experimental teaching and learning methods. One new method involved a series of nine classroom sessions that were based on clinical cases and engaged a panel of experts (physiologist, pathologists, pharmacologists, and physicians). Panel presentations were interactive, and delivered course content via livestream to all 360 second year medical students enrolled at nine different campus sites. In order to assess the effectiveness of this entirely new approach, a series of four questions were delivered via an audience response system to all students at the end of each three hour session. Students responded to the following questions: 1) To what degree has this session required you to utilize higher order skills?; 2) on a scale of 1-10 rate your overall level of engagement; 3) estimate the percentage of time you remained focused; and 4) please share what went well and suggestions you have for improvement. Response to questions following the first session indicated that only 10% of students viewed the session as requiring very high levels of engagement, 55% of students reported high to very high levels of engagement, and 55% felt they remained focused for 70% or more of the class period. Students provided many informative responses to open ended questions. Based on student input, faculty made revisions prior to delivery of the next class session (next day) including addition of more challenging and interactive questions, narrative to slides, and summation of cases. Each day changes were made based on student input. By the ninth (final) session, over 30% of students indicated the session required very high levels of higher order skills, 80% reported high to very high levels of engagement, and 75% felt they were able to remain focused over 70% of the session. At all levels of education, student feedback is essential as faculty seek to design applicable and intellectually challenging learning exercises that students find useful and enjoyable. In this study, innovative use of an audience response system allowed faculty to gather student feedback that resulted in improvement in student engagement, focus, and utilization of higher order skills.