The Impact of Personal Response Systems on Student Learning in Undergraduate Business Courses

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2008


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Joseph C. Kush

Committee Member

Misook Heo

Committee Member

Thomas A. Pollack

Committee Member

Amy Luginbuhl Phelps


instructional technology, engagement, business school, undergraduate, personal response system, student learning


This study investigated the growing body of research of how personal response systems (PRS) may make a positive impact on student learning. Results of the study provide insight into participants' self-perception of engagement along with the use of PRSs within the classroom. Although there are numerous stated benefits for both students and instructors, this study focused on student benefits. Consequently, an experiment was conducted with undergraduate business students using PRSs in a variety of business courses at Duquesne University. Comparisons were made between the control group and treatment group, which not only focused on, but also encouraged active student learning via the use of PRS-facilitated question and answer feedback methods. The main objective of this study was to determine whether integrating PRS into traditional lectures enhanced student achievement. Data were evaluated via descriptive and summary analyses. Results of the data analysis revealed that the implementation of PRS did not result in statistically significant positive difference in student achievement or engagement when compared to students receiving the more traditional written and verbal response feedback methods. The conclusions drawn from the results of this study show that PRS may be a promising, developing technology for improving student engagement and positively impacting the classroom environment as well as assisting instructors in managing student learning within the classroom. Recommendations included additional testing the use of PRS as well as establishing the need for further research involving the use of PRS, while ensuring that instructors are adequately trained to ensure quality of instruction, and investigating why students with a lower GPA felt the necessity to "engage more" in the course.





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