Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Introduction to 6 Apps for Quizzes and Polls

In this post, I discuss 6 apps and websites for quizzes and classroom polls. This is not a deep look, but I will tackle some critical basic features: the types of questions available, the kinds of resources that can be embedded in the questions, and what students or participants need in order to respond. All of these 6 apps are free, at least up to a certain usage level.

Readers may also wish to consult the comparison chart at http://www.polleverywhere.com/vs (the chart dates from November, 2012), and to look at some of the information provided by Richard Byrne at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/03/four-good-alternatives-to-clicker.html and elsewhere on his site.
  1. Edmodohttps://www.edmodo.com is a course management system, with quizzes and polls as embedded tools. Edmodo has multiple choice, true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and matching quizzes, as well as multiple choice polls. Quizzes have a number of nice features, including the ability to embed links, video, images, and LaTeX (by enclosing the mathematics with [math]…[/math]). Polling is simpler, with just the multiple choice mode and no embedding. Students should have accounts and be set up in a class in order to use either polls or quizzes.
  2. Socrativehttp://socrative.com has multiple choice, true/false, and short answer formats for both polls and quizzes. Quizzes can have embedded images, but not video or links or LaTeX (unless you create an image with LaTeX in it). Quizzes can be run as a game called Space Race, where getting answers right moves a rocket across the screen in a race with other participants. In a quiz, students can get immediate feedback on whether their answer was correct if the quiz is set up with the correct choices marked. Alternatively, if the correct choices are not marked, students do not immediately know if they responded correctly. Polls (“Single Question Activities”) can be run instantly, with no need to pre-load questions. In a poll, the idea is to set everything up without Socrative, and just use Socrative to collect votes of A/B/C/D/E, where the instructor can designate what each response means. Student accounts are not needed. Just recently, accounts have been switched over to Socrative 2.0. Socrative 2.0 adds a feature, Exit Ticket, which is pre-formatted with three questions: a multiple choice question about how well the student feels he/she has learned the day’s lesson, and two short answer responses, one a request to describe what was learned, and the second to answer the teacher’s question (which allows the teacher to pose a specific question, i.e., outside the app, in addition to the general one). 
  3. Google Forms are part of the suite of Google Drive tools. Forms support multiple choice, multiple correct, short answer, and fill in the blank. Forms can have embedded images, video, or links, but not LaTeX (unless you create an image with LaTeX in it, as I described earlier). Students do not get immediate feedback about the correctness of their answer choices. Auto-grading of the responses can be accomplished by installing the Flubaroo script in Sheets. Students do not need accounts. However, to get the maximum benefit from Flubaroo, it is a good idea to collect student emails in the Form.
  4. Quiz Bean is web-based, and not an app. It has multiple choice, true/false, and multiple correct formats. Quiz Bean supports embedded images, but not video or links or LaTeX (unless you create an image with LaTeX in it). Students get immediate scoring feedback as they progress through the quiz. Students need accounts and accounts should be set up into a class by the instructor.
  5. Quizlet is built more as a study tool. After setting up an account, users build virtual index cards and then practice quizzing themselves, matching the items in one of a few ways. The index cards can include images or text. 
  6. gFlash+ is similar to Quizlet in that it is designed for building virtual index cards. The “g” indicates that the index cards can be created from Google Sheets. There is no need for a gFlash+ account, but this app works best if connected to a Google Drive account.
Besides the ones listed above, there are many, many more. An incomplete list of them includes:
  1. Exit Ticket: http://exitticket.org
  2. Kahoot: https://getkahoot.com
  3. Mentimeter: https://www.mentimeter.com
  4. ParticiPoll: http://www.participoll.com
  5. Poll Everywhere: http://www.polleverywhere.com
  6. TAPit: http://theanswerpad.com
  7. Flisti: http://flisti.com
  8. Infuse Learning: http://www.infuselearning.com
  9. Quiz Socket: http://www.quizsocket.com
  10. Geddit: http://letsgeddit.com
  11. Top Hat: https://tophat.com
I hope this spurs some ideas. There are so many ways to collect feedback from students!

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