Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Formative Assessment Toolbox: Socrative

Formative assessments are a vital tool for any teacher to give feedback to students and/or guide their instruction. They should not be used for grades. In the digital classroom there are many excellent choices, including Socrative.

Socrative is a student response system that runs on tablets, smartphones and the web. Teachers can survey students, ask formative assessment questions, or facilitate an online discussion. Data is live and in real time, providing immediate feedback to the teacher and students that can drive instruction and class discussions.

Socrative is completely free. There is a separate app for teachers to prepare the questions and for students to answer. Apps are free and support up to 50 students logged in at one time. Teachers can also create at t.socrative.com and students participate at m.socrative.com.

There are several reasons a teacher might want to use a digital tool for formative assessments instead of traditional formats. 
  • Its interative and engaging
  • It provides immediate feedback
  • It is paperless
  • It saves time when grading assignments
  • Students can use Socratic on any device, on any platform. 
Check out this quick overview video to get an idea of how Socrative works.

Teacher App

There are four types of questions teachers can ask, all from within the teacher app.

  1. Start Quiz - Tap this button to select a prepared quiz from the list of saved quizzes.
  2. Quick Question - Tap this button and choose Multiple Choice, True/False, or Short Answer. Ask the question out loud and students will respond on their app. Answers will appear in the form of bar graphs. With Short Answer questions you can type the question and have it appear on the students screens and have students include their name with their response. When done, tap the Finish button.
  3. Space Race - Tap this button to create a game style quiz where students compete in teams or against each other. Select a saved quiz for questions and choose the number of teams. As students answer questions correctly the space ship moves across the screen.
  4. Exit Ticket - Tapping this option will send three preset questions to the students: How well did you understand today’s material? What did you learn in today’s class? Answer the teacher’s question.
Tapping the Manage Quizzes button takes you to a screen where you can create, edit, and import quizzes. The Socrative Garden blog has a list of teacher generated quizzes you can import right into your list of quizzes! You can also view and download reports on any type of quiz. 

Student App

When students first log in they enter your room number. They will see a short message as they wait for the quiz to start. As each question appears on their screen they select their answer and tap Submit Answer.

Integration Ideas

  • Use multiple choice question as a likert scale: Do you agree with the main character’s actions? A = strongly disagree, E = strongly agree
  • Use the short answer option to create fill-in-the-blank questions on subject-verb agreement.
  • Include pictures outlining a state’s shape as a states quiz.
  • Have a Space Race against another class within your school? Against another class in the US?
  • Use short answer to ask “Please explain your answer”.
  • Check for understanding of vocabulary by using short answer format to have students create a sentence using the vocabulary word.
Check out http://garden.socrative.com for more creative ways to use Secretive with your class.

More detailed help, including video tutorials, is available in the Socrative Help Center.

Download the Tech Integration Challenge for Socrative and see if you are up to the challenge!

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