What is Socrative?
Socrative delivers simple technology to enable instant classroom engagement, assessment and personalization through educational exercises, games and other tools. This app allows teachers to receive feedback from their students in real time so they can personalize instruction. From quizzing, races, live polling, to peer feedback, Socrative is a powerful technological tool that can not only liven up classes, but also make life easier for teachers. All you and your students need is a device with an internet connection and you’re ready to go! To get a free account, just follow this link: http://www.socrative.com/
This is by far the most popular use for Socrative. Teachers can create or import ready-made quizzes into their account and test their students on any content they wish. There are three question formats: Multiple Choice, True / False, and Short Answer. Teachers can either create their quizzes online directly on the easy-to-use Socrative platform or download an Excel template that can be uploaded later. One of the great things about Socrative is that you get instant results for not only the group but also each individual student. Below is an example of a live results chart from a TOEIC part 5 grammar quiz. After the quiz, I was able to see which questions seemed easy for the group as well as review the questions which gave the group difficulty to help them better understand a certain grammar point.
The race function is just an extension of the Quiz function. The users see the regular quiz on their device while the teacher can project another screen which displays colored bars that represent each user. Students can see their color directly on their device so that they know which bar corresponds to them. Spaceships, Bicylces, Bumble Bees, Bears, and Unicorns can also be selected as icons for an extra fun element on the progress bars.
When the user answers correctly, their colored bar and icon move forward. The first team to get their progress bar all the way to the end wins. Caution! Just because a user answers their questions the fastest doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll win the race. Accuracy is also important! It’s a modern day ed-tech version of the tortoise and the hare. Up to 25 users can be selected for the race.
Often I have my students take the quiz first in regular mode individually and then immediately after pair them up or put them into small teams for the race which is actually the second time that they will have taken that particular quiz. Doing so is a nice way of solidifying what they have just learnt while adding a little bit of friendly competition.
Often when I demonstrate how brainstorming can be done with Socrative I ask the users to think of as many pizza toppings as they can. Within seconds we can see a multitude of input from every user. I’ve seen users suggest pizza toppings range from mushrooms to cats! The nice thing is that everyone has a voice and can say what they want. Also, the teacher can see which user says what comment so it is easy to monitor and immediately delete any kind of inappropriate comment.
To follow up from the example of brainstorming pizza toppings, what I do next is first delete any duplicates from the list. That way there’s just one of each suggested pizza topping. Once that’s done, I click on “Vote Now” and the users then have to select just one. With this we can see the real time results and percentages for what pizza topping the group likes most. Whether you need to make a quick vote or elect a class president, the live polling function from Socrative can be adapted to any situation you like.
Step 1: Quick Question
Step 2: Short Answer
Step 3: Type your Question
- Collecting Information from the group quickly
Having a “Short Answer” box for users to input anything you ask them gives you endless possibilities for ways of gathering information from a group. In one of my workshops I wanted to find a quick and practical way of getting everyone’s e-mail address. Rather than handing out a piece of paper that people scribble their address on, I just asked everyone to type in their e-mail in the short answer box on their own device. Instantly, I had every e-mail address from the entire group. Then I proceeded to close the ‘quiz’ and selected the option to download the Excel file which included all the data that I had just gathered, highlighted the column with their e-mail addresses and then simply copied and pasted them all with a single click into the ‘send to’ box in a new message in my e-mail account.
- Peer Feedback and Evaluation
Ever have difficulty keeping your students attentive while others are giving a presentation? Creating a positive peer feedback environment can be a really insightful experience for students. Using Socrative for peer feedback is a quick and paperless way of gathering a group’s feedback. You could set up all sorts of questions to prompt comments on targeted criteria such as Body Language, Visuals, Content, and more, but what I find most effective is just leaving an open comment box for students to express themselves freely on whatever they have observed. You can also hide the students’ names so as to make the comments anonymous, which also gives students more confidence to write what they truly think.
- Projecting your own Twitter-like live feed
Since users can input anything they want into the Short Answer question boxes you can simply project the live results which displays comments as they are submitted. I once went to a wedding where the bride and groom asked everyone to tweet using #JoeandCynthia. During the dinner, they projected the twitter feed. Granted, some poorly written drunk messages slipped through, but overall it was a nice way of interacting and sending congratulatory messages to the couple. Since users only need the ‘Teacher’s Room Number’ to have access, this could be a good solution for those who want to project live feeds but don’t want to ask everyone to sign up for a Twitter account.
- Paperless and Anonymous Creative Writing
When I was in high school I had a creative writing class and really enjoyed writing poetry. The only thing was that I was often too terrified to share my work. Again, having anonymous open comment boxes can be a stress-free way for students to express themselves. Have 20 students in your group? Just set-up 20 Short Answer questions, assign each student to a number and have them write their work in that particular number’s comment box. You can hide the students’ names to keep their identities safe while as the teacher you can still see who is responsible for each comment.
- Interactive Guided Teacher Lectures and/or Discussions
With the Teacher Paced option, you can choose when the next question is to be prompted on the user’s device. Imagine you’re giving a lecture on the BP oil spill disaster that took place in 2010. You could start off by having them guess how many gallons of oil were leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. Once the user’s see the answer, you could explain how such a disaster happened and how it was caused. Before moving on, see if the students have understood you by giving them a simple multiple choice question about what originally caused the oil spill. Next, brainstorm all the stakeholders who were affected by the disaster. Discuss about the suggestions. “How did this spill affect the tourism industry along the Gulf of Mexico? The fisherman? The BP shareholders? Then, why not prompt a quick True or False question, “BP’s stock increased after the oil spill.”
Doing this type of guided lecture with Socrative can not only help the teacher know if the group has understood and paid attention to the lesson but it also creates an element of interaction where each participant feels as though they are contributing.
- Importing Quizzes
There are millions of Socrative users all over the world. Collaborative and sharing communities have flourished, because it’s so easy to import other people’s quizzes into your account. Socrative Garden is a great blog that not only posts Socrative tips and techniques but has also created a widely used Google Doc where people share their quizzes. Are you a busy teacher who doesn’t have any time to write and create quizzes? No problem, just copy and paste the SOC code in the import quiz section of your account and presto! You now have a quiz that is ready to be used. Of course I wouldn’t recommend just blindly using other people’s quizzes. One should check the quality of the content before putting it to use, but if that’s all that has to be done then doing this can certainly save you valuable preparation time.
Here’s a list of just some of the quizzes that I’ve made that you can copy into your own Socrative account:
|Quiz SOC Code||Quiz Type/Name|
|SOC-15760332||TOEIC Part 5|
|SOC-14014776||TOEIC Part 5|
|SOC-14019847||TOEIC Part 5|
|SOC-18958491||TOEIC Part 5|
|SOC-18961102||TOEIC Part 5|
|SOC-17849782||Presentation Feedback 2|
|SOC-18886517||Ed Tech Survey / Discussion – Tesol France Colloquium|
|SOC-18403348||Phrasal Verbs 2|
|SOC-14470407||Cameron Herald Ted Talk|
|SOC-18184445||Conjunctions of Time|