There are many tools now available specifically to help gather feedback from all pupils in a class – sometimes called classroom response systems, class voting tools or clickers. These let teachers get a quick response at the beginning, during or end of a teaching session. This way the teacher has a wider overview of the undertsanding at any time of the whole class and not just of a few individual pupils.
Why use response tools?
Used as part of an Assessment for Learning strategy a teacher can change the pace or direction of teaching to take account of responses from pupils. Click here for information about Robert Marzano’s research about the positive measurable effect on pupil learning of an effective teacher combining the use of an interactive whiteboard with a classroom response system. Click here for an article by Karen L Mahon sharing what her research found were the 12 most effective strategies for using classroom response systems to impact on learning.
What tools are available?
In addition to bespoke classroom response systems (such as those designed to integrate with interactive whiteboards like Promethean or Smartboard which also have a wide range of free to download ready-made resources) there is now a wide range of tools which can be used with whatever internet-connected devices may be available in a class, whether computers or mobile devices.
Danny Nicholson on his Whiteboard Blog has provided a useful review and guide to using Socrative classroom response system which works on any Internet-connected device. Socrative is a free web-based system that lets teachers set up questions for responses by pupils on any device with a web browser (smartphones, tablets, laptops).
Bradley Lands has described how he uses Socrative in formative assessment in his classroom (this includes videos of the use of Socrative).
Socrative itself has a blog with regular posts describing how different users are making use of the tool. In addition is has an online space for users to share resources they have created – once a user has uploaded one resource which they have created they then get access to the resources shared by others for free.
The 3-minute video below by James Sanders and Aaron Slutskyprovides a quick overview for teachers about using Socrative in the classroom:
Rob Zdrojewski has produced a 53-minute video of his presentation describing step-by-step how Socrative works (this link here also provides his notes with examples of the use of Socrative), the different features and explaining how he uses it in the classroom:
To use Socrative for the first time go to socrative.com (from there a teacher can log in to the teacher account from the link at the top, and a pupil can log into the pupil shortcut from the student link at the top too).
There is also a teacher shortcut: t.socrative.com
And a pupil shortcut: m.socrative.com – pupils don’t need to create an account in order to use Socrative, as they simply go to this link and enter the teacher room number provided by the teacher.
Gathering Student Feedback with Socrative is a presentation by Meredith Martin providing a step-by-step guide for teachers setting up and starting to use Socrative as a tool to gather feedback from learners.
Back-channeling with Socrative – using Socrative to get free feedback from pupils for use by the teacher during points in lessons or at the end to address questions raised by pupils as the lesson progresses.
Kahoot! – https://getkahoot.com/A free online game-based classroom response system which works on any Internet-enabled device whether computer, tablet or mobile. The teacher can drag and drop items to build quizzes with embedded images or video, then project the quiz or survey onto a classroom screen, with the pupils then responding on whichever device they have available. There is a gaming element to the tool to help motivate and engage learners.
The teacher can keep track of learning through the responses to teacher-created quizzes. There is easy access to a bank of quizzes already created by others.
As a classroom-friendly tool, this does not require pupils to create accounts in order to respond to questions set by a teacher. In a classroom situation the teacher creates a teacher account, creates their questions and then clicks on “play” beside their question set. This would then show the three steps for pupils to take part, ideally displayed by projector in front of the class:
Step 1 for the pupils – go to an Internet browser on a device
Step 2 – go to kahoot.it
Step 3 – enter the classroom identification number (PIN) displayed by the projector and click enter.
The pupils then respond to the questions set by the teacher. Responses can be reviewed by the teacher at the end of each question and downloaded by the teacher at the end of the quiz. Other features which the teacher can choose to use include having “waiting music” for when pupils in a class are logging in at the start, or to randomise the order of questions, or to dipslay details of how to connect to the local wifi (handy for those situations where you may be presenting in another location to people unfamiliar with access in that location).
Here is is a video introducing Kahoot
Kahoot also provides the means for pupils to create their own quizzes (either individually or collectively) (go to the website address https://getkahoot.com/). With this option for pupils to create accounts to create quizzes of their own note that only if the teacher wishes pupils to create their own questions to demonstrate deeper understanding then the pupils at that point would require to create a pupil account – as this requires email addresses and dates of birth this would obviously require teachers to follow their school guidelines/procedures for any sites which require pupils to provide such information.
If you are a teacher looking to get your teacher Kahoot account then you go to the website address: https://getkahoot.com/
Click here for a demonstration video of a teacher starting Kahoot ready to use with pupils.
Below is a video showing how to use Kahoot created by Dan Gibson (note that this early video was created when Kahoot was in beta form)
The Answer Pad
The Answer Pad free browser-based (and app available) pupil response system. The free version permits 1 teacher to use with up to 200 pupils, in up to 8 groups! Includes unlimited answer sheets with 8 question types, 6 response types and draw feature, free draw and 10 free background templates for annotating. Premium features are available at a cost.
Vizaroo – a learner response system which creates graphic visualisations from responses. With simple input of answers to questions the results can be instantly displayed in mind-map form, or as a Venn diagram or as a bar chart.
Tricider lets you create a question and invite others to respond with answers – either developing ideas or suggesting other ideas. the free version has a limit of 20 participants – this would work well in group discussion with mulitple devices as a way of quickly collating ideas from a class. Questions can be shared with an email or embedded in a blog or website page. And you can incorprate a competition element to the tool with ease – which you can choose to be random, or on basis of certain responses.
GoPollGo lets you set questions and share them either privately or to wider audiences, and add linked video or images.
GoogleDocs Form Tool
Google Docs form tool can be used to create a response system to which pupils can respond via mobile devices, laptops or computers. A step by step video guide to creating such a response tool as part of classroom formative assessment has been created by Matt Dunleavy – view it below:
Click here for a video by Eric Curts and Paul McIntyre about how to make use of pupil mobile devices in place of classroom response systems. This covers using Poll Everywhere, Socrative, and Google Forms.
Zondle Team Play (BYOD) makes use of Zondle quiz-creation and gaming tool to incorporate mobile, tablet or other web-enabled devices. This is designed for the teacher to use the screen at the front of the classroom and for pupils to be provided with a session ID and password to then take part in the class activity. Zondle provides video tutorials and downloadable print guides, in addition to a guide to creating multiple choice questions in such a way as to maximise learning. Zondle as a tool, even without the mobile device option, combines the teacher setting the learning intentions and the pupils choosing the games to support that learning.
Only have one device?
Shawn Rubin has compiled a post describing how Assessment for Learning techniques can be applied where the teacher has access to only one device - here the emphasis is on using different tools to record the interactions with pupils in order to inform the teaching thereafter.
Plickers requires only that the teacher has a device (such as smartphone or tablet, or even a webcam attached to computer) which has a camera to scan (from front of class with pupils seated as normal in the classroom) printed cards unique to each child like the one shown here. When the teacher asks pupils a question (with multiple choice responses) the pupils simply hold their allocated card with the letter corresponding to the response of their choice to the top. The teacher then uses their device to scan the room and the plickers then picks up each pupil’s response and feed back to the teacher what each pupil has responded. Richard Byrne has described his use of Plickers in an educational context here. Also here is a post describing in detail one educator’s experience of using plickers: Plickers app: where analogue meets digital.
Watch the video below for a demonstration (this uses a webcam placed at the front of the room):