Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Try Plickers for Fast, Formative Feedback

Plickers providing Amanda McKay with instant, actionable data

Plickers is an awesome app.  Just ask Amanda McKay.

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

Three questions with Amanda McKay about Plickers:

What is/are "Plickers"?

"Paper Clickers.  The mini QR codes can be oriented in four ways to show four different choices for a multiple choice question.  As I scan the room for responses with my device, a real-time bar graph of results appears."

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 desks with velcro so that 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 learning.  And, if my device is charged, I can run the app."

Data, data, data.

In addition to the real-time results, Plickers provides a number of breakdowns that are useful for teachers.  The teacher can view the class distribution of answers to questions, responses to a question by student, and averages by question and student in a spreadsheet form.  

For the best information, assign cards to students by name when you set up your classes.  And while using Plickers for quizzes and exit tickets is nice, consider the possibilities of using Plickers to immediately differentiate or group students.

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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