Use of an audience response system during peer teaching among physical therapy students in human gross anatomy: Perceptions of peer teachers and students



An audience response system (ARS) has become popular among educators in medicine and the health professions because of the system's ability to engage listeners during a lecture presentation. No one has described the usefulness of ARS technology during planned nonlecture peer teaching sessions in gross anatomy instruction for health professionals. The unique feature of each peer teaching session was a nongraded 12–15 item ARS quiz assembled by six second-year doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students and purposely placed at the beginning of the review session for those first-year DPT students in attendance. This study used a ten-item questionnaire and a five-point Likert scale in addition to three open ended questions to survey perceptions of both first-year and second-year DPT students about the usefulness of ARS technology implemented during weekly interactive peer teaching sessions during a semester course in Anatomy for Physical Therapists. First-year students overwhelmingly acknowledged the ARS system permitted each student to self-assess his/her preparedness for a quiz or examination and compare his/her performance with that of classmates. Peer teachers recognized an ARS quiz provided them an opportunity to: (1) estimate first-year students' level of understanding of anatomical concepts; and (2) effectively prepare first-year students for their weekly quizzes and future examinations. On the basis of the mutual benefits derived by both students/tutees and teachers/tutors, physical therapist educators may wish to consider using ARS technology to enhance teaching methods for a class in gross human anatomy. Anat Sci Educ 2: 286–293, 2009. © 2009 American Association of Anatomists.