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Pros: Kids will like the instant feedback; it’s easy for teachers to see where students are missing a concept and adjust instruction accordingly.
Cons: Analyzing individual student data over time will take more time and effort than most teachers have.
Bottom Line: Powerful and easy-to-use student-response system has the potential to support responsive teaching.
Teachers using pen-and-paper assessments or simple quizzing tools such as Kahoot! or Poll Everywhere might want to take a look at Socrative as a more comprehensive tool. Create a series of poll questions around a topic like internet safety to support a discussion about digital citizenship, or engage students in a Space Race to review last week's concepts and ease in to this week's lessons; the chance to provide instant feedback in the form of explanations can be especially useful to cement learning. Ask thought-provoking questions and encourage "thinking time" to give students a break from the practice of having to be first or fast, perhaps even allowing for multiple correct answers to promote critical thinking through discussion. Or create a standards-aligned exit ticket for the last five minutes of class to check for understanding and inform instruction for the next activity.
Teachers should note that it's easy for kids to select the wrong answer in their quest to answer quickly because there's no "are you sure?" prompt before they submit responses. Students can review the feedback from any assessment opportunity and apply that knowledge to future assessment situations with the tool or in the classroom, but teachers should consider asking several questions that address the same concepts in order to get a better idea of student mastery. As it is, Socrative is a teacher-driven assessment tool, but it would be great if there was a way for students to submit questions to the teacher or class for consideration. Also, it can be time-consuming to create quality question sets. While the ability to share question sets is a nice workaround, an upload feature would add multiple benefits for time-starved teachers.
Socrative is an interactive web-based student-response system (also available through iOS, Android, or Chrome apps) that can help teachers spark conversation and learning through user-created polls and quizzes. Students access questions via a Room code, and answers register immediately on the teacher's computer as the students submit their responses on almost any device. When everyone has responded, teachers can display the results using the "How did we do?" button. Teachers can create quizzes, quick questions, and exit slips that allow for multiple-choice, true/false, and one-sentence-response questions that can be graded with feedback for each student. In addition to those basic assessment strategies, students can team up to play Space Race, a collaborative activity that allows student teams to answer questions as quickly as they can; the teacher can access real-time results of this race as well as determine student teams. At the end, teachers can see quiz data and download it through an Excel sheet or email it for further planning.
Socrative is simple and flexible, and best of all, it works on almost any web- or app-enabled device. Properly implemented, this assessment tool allows teachers to create rich quiz-type content and engage all students through quick formative assessment questions or healthy team competitions. It's a great tool to assess learning in the moment or spark conversation, because there's so much flexibility in how teachers structure questions, answers, and explanations. Teachers can adjust settings so that students can see percentages on the screen instead of individual responses; students who are reluctant to raise their hands in class will appreciate the chance to respond digitally and anonymously.
Using Socrative as a starting place, teachers can foster effective communication skills by encouraging students to think critically and debate answers in a respectful and meaningful way. Also, the tool has the capability to align each question to a Common Core standard. You can measure student learning with printable reports, but to see long-term data of students over time, you'll need to put in the time to aggregate separate reports into one.