Impact of Interactive Software in Intro POL Courses Open Access Deposited

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Date Uploaded: 07/24/2019
Date Modified: 07/24/2019

The aims of this study is to evaluate the impact of interactive student response software (SRS technology) in large introductory classes in Political Science taught at the University of Cincinnati. Getting the students engaged in these classes has been one of the main priorities of the College of Arts and Sciences. This study draws on data from Introduction to International Relations offerings from Fall 2012 to Spring 2018, some of which have used interactive software while others have not used any software. Additionally, some offerings have had an assigned supplemental instructor (IS) while others have not had SI. The overall aim is to evaluate whether these instructional innovations have helped improved student performance in this class. The main hypothesis tested during the study is that availability of SRS technology tends to improve student performance during exams. The secondary hypothesis is that the availability of more advanced (second-generation) student response technology (such as Echo 360) tends to improve students performance in class in comparison to earlier (first-generation) SRS devices (known as “clickers”).

Background and significance
The positive impact of SRS engagement technology on student performance the across different disciplines been well documented in the literature (Marlow et al 2009; Kam and Sommer 2006; Prezler et al 2007 and others). Most of the literature focuses on first generation student response system, also known as clickers (Elliott 2003; Riebens 2007; Crossgove and Curan 2008, Shapiro 2009). Some of the studies focus on the use of this technology without a control group (Beavers 2010; DeBourgh 2008; Kennedy and Cutts 2005; Sprague and Dahl 2010) while others discuss how personal response software impact student performance throughout the whole semester (Evans, 2012). This study differs from existing ones in several ways. First, by collecting data over 5-year period, not only can we compare groups of students using SRS systems with those who don’t but also we can compare offerings using first-generation SRS technology (e.g. the “clickers”) and those using second-generation SRS software (such as Echo 360) that contains more advanced interactive features. Second, the study allows comparison of the SRS impact on different course components and requirements. Third, it evaluates the impact of the student response system in combination with other techniques used in a large classroom such as supplemental instruction or SI. This new setting offers valuable insights about the impact of different types of SRS technology and other interactive techniques designed to engage students in large classrooms.

Approach and Source of records
Records for student performance collected throughout the whole semester for each student. Demographic information for the students enrolled in class collected from the course rosters and from the University of Cincinnati’s student information system Catalyst ( All records are electronic. Those that are not available on Catalyst but are generated as a part of the student performance are currently stored in excel format by the instructor and researcher in an external USB drive which is only accessible to the instructor and PI (same person). No other person has access to the data.

The research does not involve the collection of data or other results from individuals that will be submitted to, or held for inspection by, the FDA. No part of the research involves any data that will be provided (in any form) to a pharmaceutical, medical device or biotech company.

Alternate Title
  • Dataset on Student Performance Using Echo 360
Geographic Subject
Time Period
  • 2013-2018
Date Created
  • Variables in the analysis include as follows:
    record_deid: random number generated to substitute de-identified student record (ID)
    semyr: 112 (Spring 2012); 212 (Fall2012); 113 (Spring 2013); 114 (Spring 2014); 115 (Spring 2015); 116 (Spring 2016); 216 (Fall 2016); 117 (Spring 2017); 217 (Fall 2017); 118 (Spring 2018).
    technol: 0 – No technology; 1 – Turning Technologies; 2 -- Echo 360
    echo360: 0 – No technology; 1 -- Echo 360; Turning Technologies -- blank
    improve: 0 – Turning Technologies; 1 -- Echo 360; No technology -- blank
    gender: 1 male; 0 female
    major: 1 polisci & INTA; 0 non-major
    rank: 1- freshmen; 2-sophomore; 3-junior; 4-senior; 0 – other
    midterm1: midterm 1 score (scale from 0 to 20)
    midterm2: midterm 2 score (scale from 0 to 20)
    final: final exam score (scale from 0 to 30)
    size: 1 large classes of 100+ students enrolled; 0 small classes of less than 100 students enrolled in them.
    finalex – final exam score (scale from 0 to 10)
    final_es – final essay score (scale from 0 to 20)
    overallg – student’s overall grade (scale from 0 to 100)
    letter: letter grade (scale: 4.0; 3.67; 3.34; 3.00; 2.67; 2.34; 1.67; 1.34; 1.0; 0.67; F&W=0)
    letr: actual letter grade (A; A-; B+; B; B-; C+; C; C-; D+; D; D-; F)

Related URL
Required Software
  • Excell, STATA, R, SPSS

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Identifier: doi:10.7945/3rmz-xf91

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