Yesterday in class we spent some time learning about two free, web-based resources: Socrative and Grockit Answers. After class I created a 10-item multiple choice quiz on Socrative and used it in my L2 writing class this morning.
Last week students wrote discovery drafts and met with me individually to discuss them, so for today's class I created an interactive PowerPoint presentation addressing some common themes from our discussions last week.
When students arrived to class, they already had their phones and tablets out. I wrote the socrative website and class number on the board, and students were able to easily access the quiz (I used a space race). I assigned groups and monitored while students' worked and discussed the questions.
After the quiz, I asked if any of the questions were challenging. Several students answered that the "claim" question was hard (I listed several sentences and asked which one was NOT a claim). After discussing the claim question, I asked what types of claims students should include in their papers. Then students individually identified one claim from their drafts and shared their examples with partners and eventually the whole class. The "hard" quiz question gave me insight on what students needed more practice with, and it provided a way to link the quiz to the students' drafts. After this, I began the PowerPoint and stopped at points that were linked in some way to a quiz question. Students expressed that they liked the activity.
After reflecting on today's class, I made a short list of some benefits of using socrative quizzes:
-The activity allowed students to use their devices at the beginning of the class and then transition to no devices. Students who were using their phones for, say, texting at the beginning of class transitioned to using their phones to access the quiz. After the quiz, I told students they wouldn't need their phones anymore and they could put them away.
-One quiz question provided a starting point for introducing content.
-Student performance gave me insight on what students do and don't know.
-Students were active participants right away. This is important at 7:55am on a snowy morning!
-The quiz did not take long to create, and it did not take up much class time. The website was easy to use and students could access it on their smartphones and tablets.