How I Use It
First, I would like to point out that Socrative came with no cost. I am still using it free of charge. So far, this application suits my needs; I do not intent to purchase the Socrative subscription.
Socrative is an assessment and reporting tool; there are no other applications apart from those intended functions two functions. A teacher could also use it as a low budget survey tool; however, the free version of Socrative would not provide the teacher with the analytics of the survey, and a tool such as Survey Monkey could provide you with both the assessment tool and a survey tool, but at an annual cost of approximately $90. So if your budget limit is $0, and all you really want is an assessment tool, then Socrative is right for you. In a digital environment, it greatly reduces the logistic footprint of traditional written assessments. No need for printer ink, paper, pencils, or pens, so it saves on resources and the time it takes to distribute and retrieve those resources. Grading is automatic; this greatly decreases the time it takes to evaluate an assessment.
For my purposes, I used my assessment plan to create a formative assessment in Socrative for the students. These ten questions addressed the learning objectives for that course. There were three true/false, five multiple-choice, and two short answer. Creating a quiz is very simple. There are only five ribbons on the top bar, “quizzes” being the second. After navigating to the quizzes section, creating questions are very intuitive. Select true/false, multiple-choice, or short answer, create a question, and then supply possible correct and incorrect answers. When using the multiple-choice questions, you can create more than one correct answer. For short answers, you need to include every possible answer. One of my short answers was “one month.” I also included “1 month” as an option. One of the students wrote in “30 days,” which I did not account for because I assumed the learner would answer using months as a time metric. I modified the answer to include “30 days,” “31 days,” “28 days” for February, and “29 days” to account for leap year.
We conducted the period of instruction and assessment off location, so before the lesson, I asked the students download the Socrative Student application on their phones. They did not bring their laptops to the venue, but they all had smartphones. As the students took the test, I was able to monitor the results real-time on my laptop. Additionally, you have the option to provide the learner with immediate feedback, so if they selected the wrong answer, the test would provide with the right answer to the students and an explanation why the answer is correct.
Overall, this is a great application for formative assessments. There are some limitations. First, you cannot assign point to questions. Socrative is binary; the question is either right or wrong. This is useful when deciding how to adjust course curriculum, but I would not use it as a summative assessment tool. It would also not be useful for advanced mathematics since it does not provide an area to show the students work. Socrative is suitable for verbal skills and lower level assessments. I do not see Socrative as a tool to assess intellectual or procedural skills. However, if anyone has used Socrative for these types of assessments, then please provide feedback.
As I mentioned above, using Socrative in the classroom saves time and resources. You can also assign teams within Socrative to develop group activities. Where I see Socrative being particularly useful is on field trips. Since it has a very easy to use mobile application, teachers can construct assessments that the students should be able to answer during the field trip experience. For example, while visiting the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia last spring, I found myself in a wave of high school students. The students seemed to be guiding themselves through the exhibits. The teacher could have built an assessment ahead of time to ensure that the students were visiting different time-period exhibits in the museum or achieving specific learning objectives.
Lastly, this is a very easy tool to use. This is perfect for the technology-hesitant teacher. I am not particularly tech savvy; however, it did not take me very long to master Socrative. In fact, it only took me approximately 15 minutes to figure out how to use it and less than 30 minutes to develop an assessment. This free, easy-to-use tool can be a huge time saver and a fun tool for students.