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Open Access Research article

Experiences of using an interactive audience response system in lectures

Matti Uhari1*, Marjo Renko1 and Hannu Soini2

Author Affiliations

1 The Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

2 Behavioural Sciences, University of Oulu, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

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BMC Medical Education 2003, 3:12  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-3-12

Published: 17 December 2003



Lectures are good for presenting information and providing explanations, but because they lack active participation they have been neglected.


Students' experiences were evaluated after exposing them to the use of voting during lectures in their paediatrics course. Questions were delivered to the students taking paediatrics course. Thirty-six students out of the total of 40 (90%) attended the opening lecture, at which the first survey concerning previous experiences of lectures was performed. Thirty-nine students (98%) answered the second series of questions at the end of the paediatrics course.


Most of the students felt that voting improved their activity during lectures, enhanced their learning, and that it was easier to make questions during lectures than earlier.


The students gained new, exciting insights much more often during the paediatrics course than before. We as teachers found that voting during lectures could easily overcome some of the obstacles of good lecturing.