Teaching with student response systems in elementary and secondary education settings: A survey study

  • William R. PenuelEmail author
  • Christy Kim Boscardin
  • Katherine Masyn
  • Valerie M. Crawford
Research Article


This study examined how 498 elementary and secondary educators use student response systems in their instruction. The teachers all completed an online questionnaire designed to learn about their goals for using response systems, the instructional strategies they employ when using the system, and the perceived effects of response systems. Participants in the study tended to use similar instructional strategies when using the technology as have been reported in higher education. These include posing questions to check for student understanding and diagnose student difficulties, sharing a display of student responses for all to see, asking students to discuss or rethink answers, and using feedback from responses to adjust instruction. A latent class analysis of the data yielded four profiles of teacher use based on frequency of use and breadth of instructional strategies employed. Teachers who used the technology most frequently and who employed broadest array of strategies were more likely to have received professional development in instructional strategies and to perceive the technology as more effective with students.


Student response systems Teaching practice Latent class analysis 



This material is based in part on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number REC-0337793. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We thank Timothy Urdan of Santa Clara University and Louis Abrahamson of Better Education Foundation for their assistance with designing the survey, Willow Sussex for her management of survey data collection, Angela Haydel DeBarger for her help with an earlier technical report presenting preliminary analyses of these data, and Jeremy Roschelle for his guidance on the research project and helpful comments on the paper.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Penuel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christy Kim Boscardin
    • 2
  • Katherine Masyn
    • 3
  • Valerie M. Crawford
    • 1
  1. 1.SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.University of California, DavisDavisUSA

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