The more you know about you students’ understanding and mastery, the better you can guide them to greater achievement. One of the largest advantages of the learning environment at Rollins is our consistently small class size. The low student to professor ratio at Rollins allows us to understand our students’ needs through the most effective form of informal assessment: direct dialogue. Even though face to face conversations require no technological assistance, classroom response systems and polling tools can greatly enhance the experience.
Socrative is a web-based instructional response system that helps increase engagement and effectiveness. Its clean and efficient interface provides a simple and intuitive user experience for you and your students. No special equipment or app is required- any device or computer with internet access will provide full functionality.
As instructor, you can present your students with extemporaneous questions and they can return multiple choice selections or open-ended text responses. The open-ended responses allow you to hear from every student. The responses can be viewed privately by the instructor or projected for the class to see. Allowing students to see the open-ended responses of every classmate greatly enriches the discussion. A useful feature of the open-ended questions is the ability to have students vote on responses. I’ve used this in a couple of ways in the classroom. The first way is to further discussion by asking an open-ended question. After all students have sent a response, I use Socrative to send all of the anonymous responses back to the students. They then can vote on the response that is their favorite, the most accurate, most persuasive, etc. I then ask them to debate the comparative merits of the various responses. Everyone gets to be heard and all students benefit from every other student’s input as well as my responses. The other way I enjoy using Socrative is as a question “parking lot” during lectures or other times not necessarily conducive to a back and forth dialogue. I send an open-ended question and let the students send questions when they have them. At the end of class, I can dedicate some time to answering them, or, if we’re out of time, I can follow up via a Blackboard discussion.
Socrative also provides a unique way to administer quizzes. You can deliver prepared sets of questions to students and receive a detailed spreadsheet with their graded responses. For a collaborative in-class activity, quizzes can be delivered via the fun “Space Race” format that shows the progress of the randomly selected teams in a visual display reminiscent of a carnival game. This playful feature may betray the k-12 origin of Socrative, but even for adult learners it is an enjoyable and engaging activity.
The most useful characteristic of Socrative is the simple and clean design which provides an easy, intuitive user experience. Even if you’re not particularly tech savvy, you can be up and running with Socrative in a matter of minutes and become proficient shortly thereafter. Of course we, your friendly Instructional Technologists, are here to help you with this or any of the myriad instructional tools are your disposal.