Evidence-Based Learning at School

Formative Feedback with Socrative

Socrative screenshot

Socrative screenshot

Socrative is a cloud-based student response system developed in 2010 by Boston-based graduate school students. It allows teachers to create simple quizzes that students can take quickly on laptops – or, more often, via classroom tablet computers or their own smartphones. That makes these devices a more robust replacement for special purpose “clickers” that can be bought for certain interactive whiteboards.  I can assess on the fly and best of all, students can use their portable media to provide me with near instant feedback. Clickers do this as well but the benefit of Socrative is that my school does not have to buy specific feedback devices that can only be used for a special purpose.

There are essentially three modes for using Socrative: you can administer a pre-written quiz to your students with multiple-choice questions and free response questions, or you can administer a quick one-question activity on the fly. Moreover, you have the option to use it as an ‘exit ticket’ to your lesson.

The ‘exit ticket’ is a very nice feature that a teacher can use at the end of a lesson to extract students’ response by asking questions like ‘what they think they learned during the lesson’ and ‘how well they understood the material’. I find this kind of information very useful to help me plan the following lesson.

Activities can either be teacher-paced (for use during a classroom discussion) or student-paced (for use as a more traditional class-end “exit ticket” or quiz). There’s also a gaming element: the “Space Race” feature can set up a quiz so that teams of students can compete against one another to launch rockets into space. Results can be displayed live in the classroom to facilitate student discussion (with student identity kept anonymous).

Overall, Socrative is a great piece of software and is a very simple way of recording formative assessment data. It eliminates the need for brandspecific devices in order for students to interface with a teacher’s computer and immediately answer questions posed by the teacher. The product is cloudbased and free, which means students can access it using any device. Socrative is compatible with a wide variety of platforms (PC, Mac, IOS, Android).