Friday, February 20, 2015

A FUN, EASY and EFFECTIVE way to assess student understanding - Plicker

As teachers we need to know whether our students have understood a lesson before we move on.  One way is to have a quiz but that's a lot of pressure on your kids and it doesn't always tell you what they KNOW, just what they can reproduce in that particular situation.  Plus it takes a lot of time, involves more marking and really isn't much fun for you or them.  Recently I've come across a great solution to this problem, they're called Plickers.  Similar to Clickers but without the need to purchase the expensive equipment, lug them around, worry about losing and/or charging them, etc.

Plickers are very simply.  Feel free to explore and develop more complex ways of using them (you can make up full classes, input entire question sets, etc.) but what I do is simply create or use a question set I have on Word or PowerPoint.  I project one question at a time and have my students hold up their card showing the letter they feel is correct (yes the questions need to be Multiple Choice otherwise this doesn't really work).  The cards are 4 sided, each side represents letter a, b, c or d.  I then take up the question.  If most of my students got the answer, I move on.  If most didn't, I know I need to review that section


Now each persons card is different so John's a) will be different from Susan's so they can't copy each other and wont feel self conscious if their card looks different from their peers.  Once they hold up their card, I scan the room with my phone or tablet using the free app, and it records the results, displays them on my screen as well as on my computer once I've logged it.  The amazing thing is you can scan the entire room from your desk at the front in about 20 seconds.


Simple, effective and the kids have a blast.  I encourage you to watch the short video below to get a better understanding then head over to and read more.  Please note I am in no way affiliated with Plickers, I simply think they are great and want to pass the word.

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