Background: Mobile audience response systems (mARS) are electronic systems allowing speakers to ask questions and audience members to respond anonymously and immediately on a screen which enables learners to view their peers' responses as well as their own. mARS encourages increased interaction and active learning.
Objectives: This study aims to examine the perceptions of audience members and speakers towards the implementation of mARS at a national medical conference.
Methods: mARS was implemented at the CSO Annual Meeting in Winnipeg 2015. Eleven presenters agreed to participate in the mARS trial. Both audience and presenters received instructions. Five-point Likert questions and short answer questions were emailed to all conference attendees and the data was evaluated.
Results: Twenty-seven participants responded, 23 audience members and 4 instructors. Overall, responders indicated improved attention, involvement, engagement and recognition of audience's understanding of topics with the use of mARS. mARS was perceived as easy to use, with clear instructions, and the majority of respondents expressed an interest in using mARS in more presentations and in future national medical conferences. Most respondents preferred lectures with mARS over lectures without mARS. Some negative feedback on mARS involved dissatisfaction with how some presenters implemented mARS into the workshops.
Conclusion: Overall mARS was perceived positively with the majority of respondents wanting mARS implemented in more national medical conferences. Future studies should look at how mARS can be used as an educational tool to help improve patient outcomes.
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