This week, our professor Alec, asked us to explore an assessment technology that is new to us. I am choosing the tool called Plickers. I heard about Plickers a few months ago and have recently started using it in my classroom on occasion. I was able to use it a couple times last year and just this week, my current students used it for the first time.
Plickers is a free assessment tool which provides a quick and easy check for understanding from students. I chose to explore this tool because my students really liked using Kahoot! however because we only had access to 5 iPads, not all students were able to participate at the same time or they would have to participate in groups which did not provide an accurate picture of student understanding.
There was no significant challenges to setting up Plickers. It is quite easy to use and I was able to get going with it quite quickly. Plickers uses coded multiple choice cards. I chose to print the cards on cardstock and laminate them to ensure durability throughout the year. My students keep the same card all year to ensure further ease of use for me! Additionally, while this tool can be used for both formative and summative assessment, I primarily use it as a tool for formative assessment and unit reviews prior to summative assessments.
Some of the other pros for using this tool include:
- Very simple to use for students. They just need to rotate a card to show their answer.
- Very simple for teachers to use the app, to scan, and to project answers.
- Plickers cards are easy to handle, and come in different sizes typical to larger auditoriums, and in larger size fonts for younger students to be able to read.
- Students are engaged. It’s fun! They are eager to get the correct answer because they get anonymous feedback following each question.
- It is non-threatening to use because their names are not being used to show correct or incorrect responses. However, as the teacher, I can see their names on my phone so I can easily assess who is being successful with the questions in real-time.
On the other hand, many of us are aware of the cons of using a multiple choice assessment.
If you haven’t tried Plickers, I recommend that you do!