How I Use It
Plicker questions can be created on the internet and the responses can be scanned on a smart phone or tablet with a camera. You need the free app to scan the Plicker cards. For the Plicker cards, you can print them out and laminate them if you chose. On the website (which is free to use), you designate each student a number. This number corresponds with the Plicker card they use as each card has a number on it. Each card also has a specific square design and each side of the square is a letter (A through D). The students hold which option they are choosing from the Plicker question at the top. This way, as you scan, the scanner picks up which letter option the student is choosing (based on how they are holding their card) and which number (or student) is answering. This allows for students responses to remain private from each other.
I most commonly use Plickers as a formative assessment tool to collect data. I most frequently use Plickers to collect data on math exit tickets. I will usually have students solve a problem in math and then, when they are all done, have them turn in their work as well as select an answer through the multiple choice options on Plicker. If students are holding their Plicker card in front of other students, it does not make for an easy scan. Students also need to be very aware of which side they are holding up before answering. What I truly love about Plicker though is that I can see automatically see as I am scanning who got their answers correct and who did not. I can also see who still needs to be scanned as I am scanning. Furthermore, after the students submit their responses, I can show a graph of the students answers. This allows me time to correct any misconceptions and see as a whole, where they class lies in their understanding. Lastly, I love how the data is organize. I can see how individual students are doing on the website after they answer and see the percentage correct and incorrect they are getting. The data is also color coded to help you view how students are doing.
Overall, while this tool is limited in its use, my students and I really enjoy this resource. Plicker is limited in that you can only do multiple choice responses. Moreover, if you laminate the Plicker cards in regular laminate, there can be a glare and the Plicker card will not scan. You need to laminate the Plicker using matte laminate (Amazon has matte laminate Plicker cards). Plicker will also take between 5-15 minutes to set up depending on how many questions you are creating and the amount of students you have in your classroom to distribute the cards to (unless you have the students keep their cards in their desk). However, once you have created the questions (which you can do in advance), the questions can easily be displayed through a SMARTboard. Therefore, you need a smart phone or table with a camera, the free Plicker app, access to the Plicker website, and a projector from your computer such as a SMARTboard to use this resource.
As mentioned earlier, what I love most about Plickers is the data collection. I can print the data out to show parents and keep track of progress, it allows for a time to correct misconceptions, and it is organize and color coded. Additionally, Plicker allows for each student to respond but keep their responses private from each other. I have found this is a more comfortable way for students who are shy or unsure to answer. Lastly, the scan takes a matter of seconds if the students are holding them properly.
Overall, a great resource to ask multiple choice questions and gain quick data on your students' understanding.