At the start of the school year, I was introduced to a student clicker-type program called Socrative. It’s free and can be used in your web browser or downloaded as an app to a mobile device (available for iOS and Android devices), I must say I prefer the app as a class-based tool. I’ve been testing this out in my class for the past couple of months and have been rather impressed by the results.
There are essentially two modes for using Socrative: you can administer a pre-written quiz to your students with multiple-choice questions and free response questions, or you can administer a quick one-question activity or exit ticket.
I used the pre-built quiz feature for a few days as a warm-up activity for my children whilst they got used to the app and logging in. Students find the app on a tablet computer and then enter a code, there is a set, random one that is given to you. However, if you got to settings you can change your code for your class to something more memorable – I think this is a terrific feature!
I was asked to demonstrate Socrative to my colleagues at a staff meeting, so I wrote a sample quiz for them. Here was one of the multiple-choice questions:
Now, while students are taking the quiz, the teacher can use their end of the software to monitor progress and results in real time:
Free-response questions can also be built into a Socrative quiz. Here’s an example from the quiz from the staff meeting:
Now, here’s the interesting cool part. When I see that the children have finished, I end the activity. Then, I am presented with the option to e-mail a report to myself.
So this morning when my students finished their warm-up question, I had a report e-mailed to me. A few minutes later, the results arrived in my inbox (student names have been removed):
Formative performance data that can inform and drive my classroom instruction to best meet the needs of my students. This is all organized and colour-coded in an Excel spreadsheet.
If you don’t have time to write a quiz in Socrative, that’s no problem at all. Socrative also allows for a quick one-question option that allows you to assess students on the fly. On the teacher control panel, you can choose to start a quick multiple choice, true/false, or short answer activity:
You can announce the question orally, or provide it in a written format on paper or on the board. You select this option, and the students see this on their screen:
Notice that there’s no question displayed. As I mentioned, it’s up to you to present the question however you want. The point is that you can use Socrative on the fly to formatively assess your students as well. You can also monitor results in real time, though there won’t be names attached (so this is also good for taking an anonymous poll). The downside, however, is that you can’t e-mail a report to yourself in this mode.
So far, I’m seeing great advantages to using Socrative in my classroom. It’s a very handy way for me to quickly collect and organize formative assessment data before, during, and after a lesson. It allows me to more effectively monitor my students’ learning and to make appropriate instructional decisions. Overall, this is a great piece of software and is a very simple way of recording formative assessment data.
If you would like to learn more about apps for assessment I highly recommend a course that NAACE put on which is Apps for AfL. Find out more on: https://www.naace.co.uk/
Thanks for Reading!