We examine group response systems (GRS) as an educational tool. We use an experimental approach and student survey data to assess vendors' claims that GRS improve student engagement and feedback, and thus improve learning. A key part of our design involves controlling for effects of moving to a more interactive pedagogy that have been found to affect learning.
For a management accounting course, we find only limited GRS learning effects, as proxied by exam performance. Contrary to our expectations, we find a decline in engagement, as proxied by student oral participation, when GRS are used. We also find little evidence that GRS lead to greater student satisfaction with the course. We do find support for student satisfaction with GRS, from which we infer that implementation problems are not driving our results. In summary, we find little support for vendor claims, when controlling for changes in pedagogy.