Instructor and course changes resulting from an HPL-inspired use of personal response systems

Robert A. Linsenmeier, Suzanne A. Olds, Yifat Ben David Kolikant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Personal response systems (PRS) are beneficial because they can facilitate instruction that implements the theoretical framework of How People Learn (HPL), which emphasizes learner-, knowledge-, community-, and assessment-centered approaches. In this work we present case studies of moderately large biomedical engineering and biology courses. We discuss what types of questions and classroom strategies are effective in supporting HPL-inspired induction. A possibly unrecognized benefit of using a PRS system is its effect on instructors. We discuss the beneficial effects of PRS use on instructors and the changes in teaching strategies these systems brought about. The insight about the fragility of students' knowledge revealed by the PRS prompted the instructors to invest more time in designing formative assessment and in developing ways to address misconceptions. Use of the PRS also prompted the instructors to expand their instruction from merely content to include thought processes typical in their domain. Finally, the community of learners that was generated or reinforced by PRS had a positive effect on encouraging classroom discussion, and the instructors' teaching evolved to take advantage of that.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publication36th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1424402565, 9781424402564
StatePublished - 2006
Event36th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 28 Oct 200631 Oct 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference36th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Classroom communication systems
  • Formative assessment
  • PRS
  • Pedagogy
  • Personal response systems


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