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B. Rubner, M. Jasper

University of Manchester (UNITED KINGDOM)
Mbclick is a light-weight web-based classroom response system that emphasizes the return of individual feedback. It uses students’ own mobile phones, and works with both ‘smart’ and basic feature types. It integrates with Microsoft Powerpoint and can also be used to conduct in-class surveys. Students participate via their mobile device’s web browser or with a dedicated app. Feedback is returned synchronously and asynchronously, at multiple levels: session, question and answer. Designed to be quick and easy to use, the system was created at the University of Manchester where it is integrated with the institution’s VLE. Over the past two years of its development, the system has been successfully trialed more than fifty times, in classes with enrollments between 41 and 533. This paper reports on studies carried out to assess the impact and benefits of the system on students and instructors during two semesters of the academic year 2011/12. In the first semester the aim was to broadly assess what barriers might exist to adoption of the system by students and staff. In the second semester the objective was more specific: to try to determine whether returning individual feedback has any clear measurable advantages to students. The paper describes the approach taken and the results obtained.