This useful HKUST-invented teaching and learning tool allows students to respond to an instructor’s questions in class by using iPRS in the HKUST iLearn app on their smart devices(mobiles/tablets/laptops). It is especially valuable for immediate feedback on learning and for generating participation if students are reticent about answering verbally in front of others.
Created at HKUST
The innovative interactive wireless Personal Response System(called PRS then) was invented in the 1990s by Prof Nelson Cue, then the Head of the Department of Physics. Students were using handsets to communicate with the system that was basing on infrared technology, it was first deployed at the University in 1998 and since then has been successfully used in numerous courses.
The Secondary Generation PRS
In 2011, the University updated the system in all teaching venues, replacing infrared transmission with radio frequency to reduce interference and to improve stability. The white-color handsets were also introduced. These handsets were slimmer and therefore easier for students to carry around.
The Latest Version: iPRS
In 2014, ITSC successfully developed the cloud-based, Internet-enabled personal response system. The system was renamed as iPRS. In Fall 2014, iPRS was first setup in 4 teaching venues as pilot sites. With this fruitful experiences gained, the number of iPRS ready venues was increase from 4 to 27 in Spring 2015. In the Fall Team 2015, more teaching venues were become iPRS ready. It took the total number of iPRS ready sites to 90. As starting from Jan 2016, all central teaching venues were iPRS ready. The iPRS has been running in hybrid mode, that is, allows a student to use either a handset or a smart device(phone/tablet/laptop) for an iPRS session.
Current Status: Smart Device Only
When considered that each student should own at least one smart device nowadays, ITSC has planned to phase out the using of handsets for iPRS session. Starting from the Fall Team of 2021, handsets are no longer available for students to check out from ITSC. Individual student who has already checked out a handset is recommended to return the handset to ITSC and to use smart devices for iPRS sessions. Teachers are also recommended to setup their iPRS sessions using the "Smart Device Only" option.
Please visit this iPRS page to learn more about the system.