Kate Byrnes has been exploring the use of Socrative in her teaching sessions.

Socrative is part of the Future Facing Learning toolkit – a device agnostic set of tools. Kate’s experiences show that it can be used successfully with students on any device. Her main student groups are second and third-year students and at the time of writing, they didn’t have iPads.

Before we begin to look at how Kate has been using Socrative, let’s have a quick look at Socrative itself. When used on a mobile device, such as an iPad, it comes with two apps: one for staff, one for students. The member of staff can create a quiz, using things like multiple choice or true/false questions. When ready, the member of staff puts a quiz into a digital “room”. Students then use their app (or webpage), go to that room, and take the quiz. With a clean interface, smooth workflow, Socrative is a tool that many people can get to grips with in a very short space of time.

More information can be found here.

When Kate first looked at using Socrative, she was keen to liven up her lessons which focused on statistics within an Evidence Based Practice module. She noticed that some students did not engage as much as she would have liked. Therefore, she decided to introduce a light-hearted quiz via Socrative. Near the end of the session, she ran the quiz to see how the students fared. The whole approach was more focused on the fun aspect of the quiz. The names were hidden, and there was even a chocolate bar as a prize! The students seemed to respond very well to the quiz – it made them engage more in the session when they knew there would be a quiz at the end. It also allowed Kate to see how the quieter students, who did not tend to speak in class, understood the topic.

The quiz results shown that some students struggled with one particular question. Kate was then able to use this to facilitate conversation and address any particular misunderstandings. Therefore, issues could be resolved before the sessions moved forward.

On a practical note, these students did not have iPads and so there was an assumption that they all had some kind of device that would let them access the quiz. In this instance, the students used their smartphones. The Socrative app is free to use, and even if students did not want to install the app, it’s possible to access the quiz via a regular browser. Kate spent a little bit of time at the beginning of the session, ensuring all students were able to access the quiz. Because the content already existed, setting up the quiz itself took about 10 minutes or so.

Based on her experiences, Kate was happy to report that all the students engaged with the quiz. The lessons became more active, and the quiz results gave a good indicator of engagement and helped shaped further discussions. Kate felt that the student’s confidence increased as a direct result of using the quiz. They were able to get instant feedback of the session through the quiz. All in all, a great use of the Future Facing Learning toolkit!

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