Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Want more feedback from students? Scan away!


Plickers are awesome.  Just ask Amanda McKay.

It's the end of 4th hour and Amanda's physics students have been hard at work learning how to calculate net force.  A poll question appears on the board.  Her students reach under their desks and reveal personalized QR codes.  As they hold up their codes, Amanda scans the room.  In a flash, Amanda knows every student's response to the question.

I asked Amanda three questions about plickers.  Here is what she had to say:

What are "plickers"?

"They are what I call Paper cLICKERS.  The mini QR codes that are printed on them can be oriented in four ways to show four different choices for a multiple choice question and are aimed at an Android or Apple device that interprets the choices.  A live bar graph is shown on the device as responses are read.  A correct answer can be chosen and would then be shown as a green bar on the graph."

How do you use plickers?

"I use them to collect quick bits of formative information to assess what students know or how comfortable they feel about a topic that we've covered.  They are secured to the underside of my desk tops with velcro and students can quickly take them out and show me their answers."

What do you like most about them?

"It quickly gives me important information regarding whether students are ready to move on or need to spend more time on a topic, and, as long as my phone is charged, I can run the app (even in airplane mode with no connection)."

For more information, check out this video and go to their website, www.plickers.com. Check out their quick start guide here.




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