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Clickers, Quizzes and Polls, oh my!


Clickers and their modern-day counterparts, the BYOD (Bring your own device) alternatives, can be an engaging way to conduct formative assessment of large groups.  (The current term for these tools is "classroom response systems.")  Some faculty use these tools for attendance (though care should be taken to eliminate the possibility of signing in for a friend) and also for at-home reviews.




The following tools have free versions which may be of use:

  • Socrative:  Free and pro accounts available.  Socrative is a BYOD that has several modes-- quizzes, exit tickets, quick questions, word clouds and games.
  • TopHat:  Free to teachers; $36/year for students.  Three types of tools are available:  Lecture/Classroom Response, Interactive Learning Materials and Content Marketplace (commercially available materials).  Under the Lecture Tools, polls, attendance , quizzes (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, numeric, matching, click-and-point & sorting) and discussion features are available.
  • Plickers:  Free.  This is a variation on a clicker system but only the instructor needs a device.  When the question is displayed, students hold up their assigned Plicker card (the direction of the card indicates their answer).  The instructor scans the room with a smartphone (iOS, Android or Google) and the students' answers are immediately recorded.  Maximum of 63 students per class.