Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

Student response system pilot program for fall 2005

This news item expired May 13, 2005. It may contain out-of-date information.
Debuting fall semester 2005 is a pilot program to research the viability of radio frequency (RF) technology for student response systems in Iowa State classrooms. Iowa State has recently seen a proliferation of student response systems, which allow the instructor to interactively poll students in the classroom. Uses include getting immediate feedback on topics or lecture material, checking understanding of a concept, noting attendance, or even conducting a graded quiz. To provide better service for classrooms, coordinate efforts, and better manage systems, several groups have been investigating the technical and pedagogical applications of these systems. As a result, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Instructional Technology Center (ITC), Room Scheduling (through Facilities Planning & Management), and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) are implementing a pilot program in some Iowa State classrooms for fall semester 2005. The pilot program will use radio frequency (RF) technology, which is emerging as a leading method for this application. (Infrared, or IR, systems also are used for student response systems.) Radio frequency systems offer the following advantages:
  • Significantly increased reliability, with nearly 100 percent reception of transmitted data.
  • Two-way ability, providing immediate feedback to students that their responses have been received.
  • Faster throughput, resulting in faster question turnaround times.
  • Significantly less infrastructure buildout needed in medium and large classrooms.
The RF system selected for the pilot study is the CPSrf Higher Ed system by eInstruction; a limited number of receivers will be available for high priority classrooms. The CPSrf receivers will be centrally supported and maintained by central IT during the pilot program. Students enrolled in classes using the technology will need to purchase the response pads at University Bookstore. Through FY06, the technology will be evaluated”technically and pedagogically”to determine whether it is a viable learning and teaching tool for further deployment. Frequently asked questions (and answers) regarding this pilot project can be found at http://www.it.iastate.edu/news/showitem.php?id=46. Faculty interested in using the CPSrf systems for fall semester 2005 should contact Matt Darbyshire at or 515-294-6074.