A colleague recommended that I try a student quizzing software called Socrative for informal feedback in my remote classes this fall. As I am also working through all the Calculus 2 homework in a new (to me) book I thought I’d use that as an example.
First, I created an account at Socrative using my Google credentials. I selected a free account which (from reading what is checked) allows me 50 students, 1 class, and only one open activity at a time. For $100 per year I could create a room for every class (up to 20), have 150 students, have some restrictions to access beyond knowing the link and 20 open activities. If I end up using this an intermediate level and pricing might make more sense at the community college. 150 simultaneous students is excessive, for instance.
I decided to make my task creating a quiz. I immediately ran into a problem in that after pressing the large quiz icon it was not clear how to make a new quiz. (It does make sense to have it there to start an activity quickly- see later). I went back and used the top navigation to get to quizzes. There was an ADD QUIZ button at top right that I found after just a few seconds of looking. Overall I’d say the interface is not intuitive, but is not hard to use once you figure it out.
Then I came to the next problem. I wanted to add an equation, but that is part of the paid plan. They might want to add a one week trial because depending on the power of the math editor this could be the best product out there. But, I was unable to try the math editor. And I did not feel like gambling with $99.99 this morning. I just faked it so I could get a quiz done.
Back on the home screen I discovered that the quiz button is for launching quizzes. I launched the quiz. It took me to a page showing results and answers by student. I downloaded the app and went to take it as a student.
It seemed to go pretty smoothly. I would recommend not turning on the error check on most short answer questions as it is probably impossible to anticipate all the spelling errors and extra articles. The app did ignore case sensitivity in marking one response right.
The teacher screen showed an overview of responses. clicking on a question you could see exactly what the students typed either with names (teacher consumption only) or without names (good for projecting for discussion). I wish the original result screen let you adjust column widths or automatically filled to the width of the window, but that is a minor thing since it is one click to see all the details on a question of interest.
This seems easy to use. If I did not need math or images I would definitely use the free version. If I find out the math editor is good I would consider the paid version. I wish there were a paid level between $0 and $99.99, however. In the short-term I’ll continue to use Microsoft Forms for brief informal assessment and one of the many quiz programs I already use for longer informal assessment.