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Systematic review of the implementation of audience response systems and their impact on participation and engagement in the education of healthcare professionals


Background Audience response system provides a mechanism to engage larger groups as active participants in teaching sessions. However, they are traditionally based on ‘fixed’ closed loop system, which limits their functionality to a single geographical location, thus has the effect of confining their use to universities and other larger institutions, with a primary focus on education. Conversely, in the healthcare education context, the majority of formal education is undertaken through postgraduate training programmes, largely conducted in smaller cohorts in clinical settings.

Objective The purpose of this review is to evaluate audience response systems in terms of feasibility of implementation and the impact on participation within the field of education of healthcare professionals, in comparison to the non-healthcare education.

Study selection Therefore, systematic structured searches of PubMed and Medline databases for healthcare education were conducted, and Scopus, Education Resources Information Center, British Education Index, Education Abstracts, Education Administration Abstracts and PsycINFO databases for non-healthcare education databases.

Findings and conclusions Consistent and fundamental differences were found in the studies evaluating healthcare education compared with other fields, with more difficulties encountered in implementation and a less significant impact on engagement seen. Here we discuss the consequences of these findings on the use of audience response systems and beyond.

  • audience response systems
  • review
  • clickers
  • classroom response systems

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