Socrative.com may have been around for a while now, but if you haven’t had a look at it recently or tried out their Socrative 2.0, it’s definitely worth a look.
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a web-based student-response system that essentially replaces ‘Clickers’. They have iOS and Android apps, but I find the new web-based interface excellent and not worth the bother of app installation and then it’s the same experience on any device.
Socrative is an easy and effective way to gauge student learning in real time. The 2.0 web version allows this to happen with ease. Teachers can pre-write multiple choice, true and false, or written answer questions and start and control the quiz from any device with the web. The new interface for both teachers and students is modern looking and pretty hip; the students tend to like it.
There’s a built in Exit Card feature which really simplifies exit cards, and there’s also a neat “Quick Question” option to give student instant questions without pre-planning. For instance, based on a discussion in class, a teacher could write four options on the board and then with two clicks a web-based poll is started where students can vote on the options. Maybe it’s just my teaching style, but I really like services that work with little to no prep involved.
When students are finished completing a diagnostic assessment with Socrative, the teacher can send a report straight to her Google Drive account where it can give her a one page quick view of how everyone is doing and what answers they have provided. It can also be emailed or downloaded for the few poor unfortunate souls that don’t use Google products.
Socrative is bad news for the Clicker business. I’ve used those dreadful things in the past and they just aren’t really made for ease of use. Perhaps they are trying to jam too many options and cater to advanced users who aren’t too plentiful. If your school already has the tech in terms of tablets or laptops, or if your school allows BYOD, there’s just no reason to purchase any device dedicated to real-time student responses.
I’ve found that it’s not great for summative assessments and the Socrative people say that this isn’t really their target. It isn’t easy to grade through the system and it’s currently limited to only True and False, Multiple Choice and Short answer, so don’t get excited that this could replace your vLE quiz tool. It’s also not a polling service like SurveyMonkey which collects data from users at any time of the day. Socrative shines at what it’s intended for: diagnostic activities in Face to Face classrooms.
They’re planning on making it http secure in the future, and that at point it could be embedded right inside the vLE as an additional blended learning tool. Something to look forward to if your class is already heavily blended.