Carmen Works

  • Socrative Evaluation
  • Carmen Works
  • Dept. of Chemistry
  • Fall 2014

Summary

Socrative is a web-based application that allows teachers to set up quizzes with several different options for students. The idea is to allow for real time formative assessment and active student engagement. The options include traditional types of quizzes that can be constructed before hand, competitive quizzes called space races, and quick question quizzes where questions can be spontaneously generated without advance setup.

Students log into to Socrative using either a mobile device or laptop computer. If the students are using a smart phone or ipad they can be instructor to download the app before class, and in all cases students can use the SSU wifi. Prior to class instructions downing the Socrative app should be posted on the course moodle page along with the room number associated with the particular course. Students will come to class prepared to use the application

Usage

I used Socrative in my Chemistry and Biochemistry learning community where I have 38 students this fall (2014). I only had time to use the traditional quiz tool but have plans to try the quick questions tool also this term. It is unlikely that I will use the space race tool in this learning community this semester but application does look fun and interesting. Using the traditional quiz tool you can have students move at their own pace or at the pace of the teacher. In the latter students will answer a question and wait until you advance the whole class to the next question. I found this very useful in helping students to dissect a case study and generate a group discussion.

The question, “does ice melt faster in fresh water or salt water?” was asked and students were given 4 choices. Student’s responses were projected so that the class could quickly observe that the majority of the students picked salt water. This allowed us to chat with each other about the choices. We proceeded this way through several questions as to why students picked salt water and each time polled students with a multiple choice answer. At this point I had students break into small groups and watch ice melt in both fresh and ice water. During this time they could put in short responses, to Socrative, with their observations and these were projected on the screen to the whole class. There are no names associated with the responses so students feel safe expressing their opinion. When students log in they can use their name or an alternative.

Alternatively, the instructor could chose not to project the class results and use the feedback to modify their own explanation of a topic.

All of the information is kept in the Socrative database so that instructors can go back anytime and use the data for more summative assessment.

Conclusion

Pros

  1. Socrative is very user friendly
  2. Instant formative assessment that is easy to interpret and use
  3. There are different ways to download and/or save the student’s responses to questions to be used for grading or attendance
  4. Free
  5. Web based so students don’t have to buy clickers or use texting credits
  6. Students can answer questions anonymously

Cons

  1. Students get logged out spontaneously and have to re-log in several times during the activity
  2. Students have their phones out and are easily on Facebook or texting
  3. There are questions about the reliability because students are logging in and out and this makes it difficult to be confident in Socrative use as a grading tool

Socrative is a fun way to engage students in classroom discussion and get shy students to participate. I have also heard that clickers work in a similar manner, but in Socrative you can type in short answers. I would recommend anyone try this application to generate quick formative assessment and gauge student learning.