Sunday, 10 January 2016

Socrative (UKPSF A4 K4)

It is very popular in physics education circles to use "clickers" to allow the students do simple quizzes in the class. For example this is the method advocated by Eric Mazur. The idea is to do active engagement of the students with the material.

One issue is just how to actually use clickers in the classroom. It would be better to actually hand out the clickers, but they are quite expensive. In the mathematical sciences department at Plymouth, we give each student a clicker, but in service courses for other departments, the students typically don't have access to clickers.

One possible option would be to get the students to use  a smart phone or tablet, rather than an expensive clicker. There is website called socrative , which allows tests to be taken by studemts on
mobile device. A couple of years ago I made a presentation on using socrative at a HEA workshop.

I have not actually used Socrative in a classroom setting. One issue was whether the wireless signal would be strong enough for a class of students all using mobile devices. Also, it has to be remembered that not all students will have access to a smart device.

Now that the standard lecture length is two hours at Plymouth, I should think about using socrative again.