Two weeks ago our university had a Research and Scholarship Day. The committee I am in, Technology Across Curriculum, organized a session with 4 presenters. One of them talked about a new beta software called Socrative which she started to use in her class and the research she was doing with respect to its impact on students.
I was very intrigued and decided to try it in my classes. The idea is very simple. You create questions and the students answer them in class using a device connected to the Internet. They can use a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. There is even an app for iPhones and iPads. You get immediate feedback and can share it with the students. It is very similar to the idea of clickers but you don’t need to distribute clickers and you have various options to introduce questions.
I used it for review questions during the class time and then as an exit quiz to see how much of the information we discussed in class the students remembered. Students seemed engaged. After each review question (which was not for a grade) I showed the distribution and discuss the correct and incorrect answers. As students knew that there would be an exit quiz (for a grade), they seemed more attentive to the class material.
Because it is a free beta version, I encountered a few glitches. However, I plan to expand the use of it next semester. This time I only designed multiple choice questions, but next semester, I’ll experiment with open end questions too.
If any of you uses/used this software, I welcome you to share your experiences.