- using and applying technology
- applying information
- asking questions
ProsSimplicity and clarity help give a quick, valuable gauge on students' understanding and viewpoints.
ConsMore moderation support for teachers and more built-in scaffolding around digital citizenship for students would be nice additions.
Bottom LineThe workable tool for online formative assessment offers a variety of worthwhile features.
Teachers can set up classes, polls, quizzes, and discussions and change the settings within them. The teacher view shows authors of anonymous posts. Teachers cannot communicate directly with individual students.
Common Sense Reviewer
Kids will enjoy the convenience -- and novelty -- of using their own mobile device to instantly send in votes or make comments. The site's sleek format and simple interface make it handy and practical.
Graphs and numbers let students see their own input amid class data. They can also see personal quiz scores and general comments. Unfortunately, individualized feedback and direct teacher-student communication isn't possible.
Design is straightforward and intuitive; help documents and tutorials are concise and easy-to-access. Extra support, such as mouse-over prompts or audio, would be a nice addition.
If used at the start of class, you could easily group students for subsequent class work. Are your notes ready? Did you finish last night's reading assignment? Which image is Peru? A quick poll can give you a sense of where your students fit. Polls can also help you handle logistical issues, or add interactivity to direct instruction: Do we need a library day? Maximize transition times using a discussion prompt like "Describe an energy transfer" as a setup for the next activity.
Teachers may find the Social Q&A tool disruptive during lecture or classwork, but it's nevertheless useful for questions to address later. The Confusion Barometer can give you a sense of how the class is feeling, but won't be useful in grouping or remediation. For math teachers, equation formatting is available.
If collecting data on individual students over time is important, have students make an account. Joining as a guest (the typical route) may be problematic to long-term data collection, especially if students use different devices over time.Read More Read Less
GoSoapBox is a web-based student response system -- it allows students to submit replies online (or with a mobile device) -- no clickers required. Start-up takes mere minutes, with teachers creating events (classes) that students join by entering an access code. Students are required to provide names by default, but only the teacher sees these. Teachers can adjust settings in the Moderation Panel, which serves as a sort of teacher dashboard.
Teachers can use the site's polling feature to ask quick questions (i.e., "Did you read Chapter 5?"). As students respond, all users can see the results graphically, in real time. The Confusion Barometer tool allows students to toggle their status from "getting it" to "confused." With the Social Q&A, students can anonymously type a question, instead of raising their hand to ask. Users can view and vote on these, and teachers can mark them as answered. The Discussions tool allows group members to comment -- anonymously, if desired -- on a post. There's also a quiz feature with automatic scoring.Read More Read Less
GoSoapBox expedites certain teacher tasks, in many ways simplifying and enriching formative assessment. Instead of asking about last week's project and tallying hands, a teacher simply opens a poll. And bonus -- while kids are submitting answers, it might just be easier to submit attendance. The quiz feature can also be a real time saver, though the ability to record data long-term is iffy. Nevertheless, the site scores quizzes (multiple choice) and gives teacher-supplied feedback, though individualized comments aren't possible. Kids will find the site intuitive and will enjoy using it as much as they enjoy clicking a clicker.
There are caveats, of course. Without handy computer access or a 1:1 program, students will need to use their own devices, which can present equity issues. Also, while students' anonymity can be a useful -- and empowering -- tool for certain activities, it could also create disruptions in certain situations. If using GoSoapBox's anonymous features, it's important to scaffold activities with clear standards for behavior and communication, including respectful disagreement. Overall, teachers may want to consider some of the larger implications here. Depending on how (and how often) they're used, tools like GoSoapBox could foster greater engagement and inclusion during class discussions; they could also take real-time attention away from the students themselves.Read More Read Less
See how teachers are using GoSoapBox
- This is a A+, 5-star tool. The official review is dead wrong.15July 31, 2014
- Interactive formative assessment and engagement tool great for BYODShana W.
Creekland Middle School
Lawrenceville, GA4December 30, 2015
- The most capable and easy to use student response tool out there!Jeff B.
Mountain Valley High School
Rumford, ME4December 26, 2014
- Interactive tool for class quizzes, discussions, and more.4December 1, 2014
- A Wonderful Way to Create an Interactive ClassroomCharlie O.
Bullard High School
Fresno, CA5October 15, 2014
- A sophisticated and user-friendly student response system with a clean look and lots of handy features.Gary G A.
Grosse Pointe North High School
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI4August 29, 2014