Asee peer logo

Using Cell Phones As Audience Response System Transmitters In Civil Engineering Classes

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Laboratory Development and Technology in the Civil Engineering Classroom

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1313.1 - 14.1313.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Paul Richards Brigham Young University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Cell Phones as Audience Response System Transmitters in Civil Engineering Classes


Most university students and faculty have cell phones. A Harris Poll in 2008 found that more than 90% of adults in the United States have cell phones.1 Ownership rates are higher among university students, approaching 100% on some campuses.

All these phones result in potential distractions in the university classroom. Campbell and Russo reported that students frequently complain about the distraction from ringing during class time and that university classrooms are perceived to be one of the least acceptable places for mobile phone use.2 Another survey by Campbell found that most university students and faculty would support university policy against mobile phone use during class time.3

Although cell phone ringing can be a classroom distraction, the nearly universal ownership of cell phones might contribute to learning by providing new ways to communicate in class. For example, current technology permits an instructor to collect responses from students in class via text messages and process the responses immediately. This functionality is similar to that of handheld transmitters used in audience response systems that have been successfully integrated into some university classes over the past decade.

The next two sections are additional background that review the use of audience response systems in engineering curriculum and describe how cell phones can be used as audience response system transmitters. The paper then describes a pilot study investigating the use of cell phones as audience response system transmitters in university classes.

Richards, P. (2009, June), Using Cell Phones As Audience Response System Transmitters In Civil Engineering Classes Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4583

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015