Emily Acosta Lewis

  • Socrative Evaluation
  • Emily Acosta Lewis
  • Communication & Media Studies
  • 9/16/14


I decided to use Socrative in my Communication & Media Studies Freshmen Learning Community of 50 students. I decided to use both the quiz and quick question function for the course as I didn’t think the space race was particularly useful for my class. Participation is an important component of a Freshmen Learning Community, however that usually takes place in the small breakout sessions rather than the large lecture. I decided that it would be great to try to break up the traditional lecture and do something to engage students with the devices that they all want to look and check during class time. Since I have a no technology policy, they were only allowed to use computers and cell phones when we were going to use Socrative (or Padlet-which I ended up using just as often and personally think is more effective). I thought that if we could use Socrative, instead of clickers for example, it may be easier and more cost effective for students.

I used Socrative several times during the Fall 2014 semester thus far and will likely continue to use it though I am now more aware of its limitations. During the first day of class, I used the quiz function and set up questions ahead of time. Rather than going over stats on media use (this is a media literacy class) that I think are important-I asked questions about those same stats in multiple choice and true/false format. I used the teacher-paced so that students could log in, answer the question, then we could talk about the answer, and then move on. I have since done a few quiz questions that I’ve set up ahead of time and done teacher paced to facilitate discussion in class or to try to surprise people with particular facts and it does facilitate discussion fairly well-but it’s the same people who would have talked without me using Socrative, that talk after using it. 

I have also used the quick questions function in class which I like because you don’t need to set anything up ahead of time. However, I think the quiz function is more versatile and useful for me personally. I think quick questions works essentially the same way as having students raise their hands in the class and see what their views are on a particular issue. I’d rather do that, than take time to log in to Socrative and make sure that everyone in the class is logged in properly. 


Using the Socrative worked fairly well-however, I will say that one of my main frustrations was that students had issues logging in or would get kicked out. In fact, the number of people in “my room” fluctuated during the entire activity at least 5-10 people in either direction. It appeared that people on computers had no issues getting kicked out, but people with iPhones seemed to have the most issues (this is just observational, I didn’t count and certainly more students have iPhones than Andriods or Windows phones). Another issue with logging in was that for some people, it said “waiting for teacher to start activity” but I had already started the activity and people had already answered the question. So those students had to either refresh the page or logout and then log back in. Related to this, as a teacher, I have no idea who is logged in and who isn’t. So, when I called out “okay, who’s not logged in or who’s having issues?,” some people would respond and I’d help them but then others wouldn’t and I still wouldn’t have them participating. Plus those who are fully logged in and aren’t having issues get frustrated with everyone else because they’ve already answered the question. To be honest, it ends up causing more students to get out of class mode because they’re waiting on others and distracted by their phones or computers. I also think that clickers might just be easier, because as we wait for people to get logged in, other people are texting or checking their social media, which is distracting and takes them away from the class. I would use Socrative for a 15-30 minute discussion, but the 5-10 minutes of technical issues leading up to that activity make it not entirely worth it for me. I believe that the cons of Socrative outweigh the pros particularly for my uses. I ended up using Padlet as well-which allows students to go to a web address and then entire text on what looks like a chalkboard or pinboard. They can write text anonymously or you can ask them to put their names in there. You can also save this file as a PDF and then share it with the class. For me personally, Padlet was more useful than Socrative. Also, because Socrative does kick people out of the room, I would HIGHLY recommend against using Socrative for anything that involves a grade. The quiz function is great for facilitating discussion, but is too unreliable to use for grades. I think the Moodle quiz function is much better plus it drops the grades into the gradebook, which saves time with entering grades or data entry at the end stage. 

I think that there are other ways to engage large classrooms-like Clickers and Moodle-that have more advantages and fewer disadvantages than Socrative does. Overall, I would suggest that professors try Socrative and see if it works well for their classes but know its limitations and certainly the limitations of wifi/cell phone connectivity in the classrooms they teach in. I think it could work for longer activities, where you’re okay spending 5-10 minutes dealing with the inevitable technical issues that will come up. I think that Socrative (or Padlet might be better) could also be used in smaller classrooms for anonymous feedback, checking on if students are understanding what’s going on in class, or having them voice concerns about class content or material. I do not however think that it’s the best option for engaging large groups due to the technical issues, distraction factor of computer/smartphone, and the other issues listed above.