Common Sense Review
Updated December 2013


Ask questions, brainstorm ideas with responsive voting tool
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
The simple interface is easy to use for both kids and teachers.
Tricider offers the structure, but whatever learning happens is up to you and your class.
Bottom Line
Used creatively and wisely, Tricider can set the stage for some great classroom conversations.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Depending on the questions asked, this type of tool can spark healthy debates and discussions that students will find fun. With a simple but clear design, the concept is well-executed here.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Students will have to make decisions, as well as back up their choices with written evidence. Whether gathering opinions or debating a topic, they'll communicate with peers and develop positive digital citizenship skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

There's a helpful FAQ section, but it doesn't seem that the blog has been updated regularly. However, when emailing questions the site's staff are quite responsive.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

From decisions about basic, procedural classroom issues to the most erudite literary ponderings, Tricider can be a useful tool. Need to figure out the best day for an after-school field trip? Debating the most important theme in Beowulf? Tricider might just be the way.

While just fine for practical use in any classroom, Tricider is especially well-suited to an English or civics class, where opinions and grey areas prevail. While students could get rewards just for voting, there could also be a prize for the idea with the most up-votes. However, it's probably best to use this latter option wisely and with an eye toward equity among your students.

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What's It Like?

Tricider is a website that offers a free brainstorming and voting platform to help people make decisions. Billed as a "social voting tool," the site is geared toward business teams, classes, or anyone looking to gauge a group's response to an idea. As it's very applicable to educational use, teachers and students can readily and easily use it in the classroom.

Teachers can sign up for an account using only an email address and password. Once logged in, users can propose a question or "tricision." Questions don't have to be structured as only yes or no type; open-ended questions work as well, and may in fact be all the better when it comes to brainstorming. In the site's tool, students view responses, with the option of up- or down-voting ideas or comments as well as adding their own explanatory responses.

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Is It Good For Learning?

While not expressly developed for classroom use, Tricider can make for a really versatile learning tool. The ability to ask and discuss open-ended questions is likely to be the site's most useful aspect. With a bit more depth than some of the simpler online polling tools, Tricider may be a slightly better pick. The site's developers seem genuinely serious about using the open exchange of ideas as a way to make good group decisions.

The Motivate option allows teachers to offer incentives for various types of activity in the forum. However, the nature of online polls and discussions is likely to be motivation enough for your students. Even students who tend to be more introverted should appreciate the chance to have their voice included in the discussion. In general, these types of online discussions tend to lead to better in-class talks.

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