Sunday, February 15, 2015

Socrative - Using Data Effectively and Easily

Today's blogger is Leslie Lantz. Leslie is an English teacher at Angola High School in MSD Steuben County Schools.

One free tool many in my district have come to use frequently and love is Socrative.com. I’m still not 100% sure how to pronounce it – is it So-CRAT-ive or SOCK-ra-tive ? - either way (tomato/tomahto) it’s a fantastic tool all teachers can and should be utilizing.

In this day and age of data collection and data evaluation, Socrative can be a teacher’s best friend. This tool not only allows immediate data feedback but can be used as both a formative and/or summative assessment tool. And, let’s be honest - anything that grades assignments for us is a godsend.

This site also has the benefit of using just one classroom code that always stays the same (once they log in with the code – it will be remembered). Or, if you’re not in a 1:1 school, you can just leave the code on the board. No need to create student log-ins and passwords that they will inevitably forget anyway.

Pros of using Socrative:
  1. Create a Quiz - You can use multiple choice, true/false, and/or short answer questions. You can choose various options for these quizzes - students can go at their own pace, you can take the quiz “together” at the teacher’s pace (which would be great if you were using it as a formative assessment so you could gain data and then discuss/re-teach as you go through the questions), students can receive immediate feedback on their answers, and you can also decide to shuffle answer choices and/or question order to avoid cheating. 
  2. Exit Slips - no more need to cut out a bunch of tiny pieces of paper to hand out at the end of class. Exit Slips can now be done online without a lot of prep time to create it or to “grade” it. 
  3. Space Race - This allows you to team up students in your class to take a quiz together. This would be great for reviewing before a test or even reviewing after reading a new topic or new chapter.

  4. You can save your quizzes, share your quizzes, import quizzes from other teachers and even import quizzes from Excel. 
 And, most importantly -
  1. The feedback/data is immediate - this info can be downloaded, printed, saved and/or just viewed on screen….This is ideal if using it as a formative assessment - you can immediately and easily see what students are understanding and what needs to be reviewed/re-taught. Even as a summative, it’s a specific indicator of what was understood and what was not and quickly provides data for where to continue from that point on. I love the graphics of the reports - it not only gives you the students' individual scores but also the percentage of students who got each individual question correct - very helpful in planning future lessons as well as assessing student knowledge or skills.
If you need more info on how to set up Socrative or have other questions, refer to the user guide: Socrative User Guide  

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