Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2008 Atlanta Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Audience Response Systems (ARS) technology improves response rate of clerkship lecture evaluations

Sajani M. Tipnis, Jennifer McKanry, and Paola A. Palma-Sisto.
Medical College of Wisconsin

INTRODUCTION: Student evaluation of core clerkship lectures is important to program development by providing feedback for the content, delivery and perceived relevance of presented materials. Compared to other methods, audience response system (ARS) technology provides an anonymous, non-threatening, easy-to-use method of audience participation in lecture settings.

OBJECTIVE: To compare lecture evaluation response rates obtained using ARS technology versus traditional paper based methods.

METHODS: During the 2007-2008 academic year, students participating in the third-year pediatric clerkship were asked to voluntarily evaluate 11 lectures. Students were assigned to complete evaluations by either traditional paper based or ARS technology based on clerkship rotation block. All students in the same block were assigned the same evaluation methodology. The evaluation response rate was calculated as the number of completed evaluations divided by the total number of possible evaluations for each group. Response rates were compared using chi-square methodology.
RESULTS: 72 students completed evaluations by a traditional paper based method and 35 students by an ARS technology method. 450 of a possible total 792 (57%) traditional paper evaluations were returned compared to 333 of a possible total 385 (86%) ARS technology based evaluations (p<0.001).

 CONCLUSION/DISCUSSION: ARS technology increased the response rate of clerkship lecture evaluations compared to traditional paper based methods. The results are encouraging. However, ongoing data collection will identify whether the response rate decreases as the “newness” of the technology wears off. In addition, ARS technology does not allow comments. Therefore, comments still had to be collected in paper format. Further studies are planned to assess the possible differences in scoring for identical lectures, offering more reliable measures of perceived impact of the lecture.