‘Plickers’ is a free Student Response System (SRS) for those without access to one to one devices in the classroom. All you need are some downloadable and printable class cards and one handheld device. The students hold their cards up based on their answer (A, B, C, D), the teacher scans the cards from anywhere in the classroom using a smartphone, tablet or ipad, or even the gym, and the responses are automatically entered. The class can view a graph of responses if you connect your computer to a projector and you can easily see who has and hasn’t entered a response. Teachers can ask any multiple choice or yes/no questions they wish.
Regular check-ins with your students during instruction aids formative assessment and future planning. Teachers often use thumbs up/down or hands up or fingers to try to gauge understanding or interest but these ‘systems’ are difficult if not impossible to track. Plickers allows you to actually save the individual student responses (and you don’t need to ‘give away’ any of your students’ information to do so).
Plickers can even be used in the gym or outdoors (be sure to download the large sized cards). Below is some 360 video footage we shot of Plickers being used in a Physical Education class:
Many teachers lack access to individual devices needed to use other student response systems (iClickers, Socrative and others). With Plickers, all you need is an app, one device and printable cards for your students. Some excellent features include (excerpts below from Plickers.com)
2. Individual Student Reports: On the left panel of Scoresheet, you can now easily print individual student reports or save them as a PDF. The first sheet provides an overall class average and lists the 3 most commonly missed questions for you to save for your records, while the remaining pages contain individual student reports including the question and answer choice selected.
- Grouped Plickers Questions: Plickers is “currently working on a way to let you group your Plickers questions together. You’ll be able to title your question group, add a description, and add tags.”
- Webinars and tutorials: Contact Plickers or visit their website for up to date info.
Print your own for free – or purchase matte laminated set of cards from Amazon
Go to Plickers.com and set up a free teacher account. When you select ‘classes’, you will be prompted to enter student names. Students will automatically be assigned a plicker card number. If you teacher multiple classes, you can simply create a new class and add the new students and there’s no need to have a separate set of plickers cards since the app easily lets you toggle between your classes.
Now all you need to do is think up some excellent questions – remember,the questions you ask can make or break an assessment opportunity. Think carefully about the questions and come up with a good bank! I’d also suggest having a few ‘generic’ questions (i.e. temperature checks, checks for understanding) that you can use at any time regardless of subject or content.