Destined for the Dustbin of History
Never have I seen a market more fragmented by terms describing/defining the same exchange/transaction between an instructor and a student. After years of market positioning and millions of dollars in term differentiation, the market defined response systems as “clickers.”
In 2012, all legacy clicker-differentiating terms for in-class response systems are rapidly heading toward extinction. The death is not a result of lack of effort but simply a result of smart devices steamrolling expensive single-purpose, TV remote like devices. Let’s look for a moment at why these clickers and the resulting terms will not survive.
Audience Response System, ARS – This definition is probably the broadest of the proprietary 1st generation terms. ARS successfully defines the legacy software to include learners both in and out of academic institutions. In other words, the concept includes corporate, training and government markets where participation and audience response can be utilized to validate learning objectives.
Unfortunately, Audience Response Systems are hardware based and confined to a single location. Organizers of short events like corporate meetings and symposiums summarily dismiss ARS as a viable option because they are very time intensive in their administrative set-up tasks. Add to that the complexity of an unfamiliar location and ARS is simply not viable for many market sectors. It makes much more sense to have a cloud-based system, like Via Response, that runs on any browser and allows attendees to vote on their SMART PHONES to really broaden out the conceptual thought of multi-sector “audience response.”
Personal Response System, PRS – I like what is being described here. Everyone’s vote counts! These real-time results around participation and interaction are personal and useful. The efficacy of clicker based personal response system is undisputed with nearly thirty years of research. However, results are locked up in one class and one place and rolling up aggregate data across many classes/sections is impossible. Want to leave the artificial barrier of the four walls of the classroom behind? Not with these systems. PRS also completely misses the power of participation and interaction. This is the COLLABORATION that a web based learning platform like Via Response offers.
Student Response System, SRS – This term looks good at first blush. However, it begs the question — who is a student? Isn’t everyone a life long learner? Why limit the platform to a single location on proprietary hardware? The term is confining as a stand-alone concept. Utilize Via Response, which leverages the ubiquity of the Internet, and allows students to BRING THEIR OWN DEVICES.
Classroom Response System, CRS – CRS, like it’s SRS brethren, is OK on the surface. But on closer examination, we find ourselves defining a “classroom.” It is certainly no longer a single location defined by four walls. CRS is just too limiting heuristically to be useful. A system like Via Response is immediate and flexible and extends well beyond the four walls of the “new” classroom.
How do we define a platform that is not limited by location, time, or distance?
How do we define a platform that can be used on virtually any device?
I saw a great twitter post today where a Harvard Professor defined this new space as “Connected Learning.” Viola! That is what we do at Via Response. We enable instructors to bridge active learning in lecture halls with live remotes as well as through passive assessment activities that happen after the learning event.
So for now, CONNECTED LEARNING, it is. So what do you think? We love to hear from you. We are continually amazed and humbled at how engaged the instructor community is on active participation tools that span in and out of classroom learning.
Via Response, Connected Learning Now! I like the ring of that!
COO, Via Response Technologies