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Interactive Response System (IRS) for College Students: Individual versus Cooperative Learning

Interactive Learning Environments Volume 26, Number 7, ISSN 1049-4820


In this study, the researcher aimed to understand how students learned the targeted knowledge with an interactive response system (IRS) tool, and whether learners in two different learning modes: individual and group use of IRS, differed in their learning performance and knowledge retention after the IRS activity. These two kinds of IRS interaction were integrated into the course which included multiple choice questions for testing memorable knowledge and open-ended questions for enhancing organization and critical thinking ability via a methodology that involved 120 college students and included the analysis of tests, survey questionnaires and a course learning diary. Overall, the results were consistent with the consensus that students perceive the IRS as a positive addition to their classes, as its use increased course participation, fostered interaction, and promoted the general enjoyment of the class. The results revealed that the immediate learning performance of the learners who participated in the activity through group use of the IRS was better than that of the learners with individual IRS accounts; however, the individual IRS users seemed to have better learning retention of the learning contents, and showed significant improvement on the delayed tests. Furthermore, the study also confirmed that the IRS with collaborative work could promote the students' academic and social-emotional performance because the collaborative learning allowed them to learn from peers' opinions and to make judgments and co-examine the learning concepts again while finding the correct answer. This paper contributes data and analysis that highlight the pedagogical benefits of the implementation of an IRS, and supports the value of using the IRS for college education.


Wang, Y.H. (2018). Interactive Response System (IRS) for College Students: Individual versus Cooperative Learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 26(7), 943-957. Retrieved February 18, 2020 from .

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