You’ve probably heard about clickers, a student response system that allows you to conduct immediate, in-class assessments. But for many instructors, departments, and institutions, the cost of purchasing a set of clickers for every student isn’t in the budget.
Maybe you’ve thought about using Kahoot! or Socrative instead, which basically turn any computer or smart phone into a clicker. But, if you’re not in a computer room, or if you don’t want to isolate students without a mobile device, these apps still won’t do.
Enter Plickers, or “paper clickers”.
By Molli Carter
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Plickers is a free student response system that requires only the instructor to have a mobile device, but still gives students the opportunity to engage in formative assessment an interactive way. Plickers works by turning the instructor’s device into a QR code reader that scans the entire classroom, gathering data from cards that students hold up to indicate their response.
Get started with Plickers today!
First, download the Plickers app on your mobile device. Sign up for an account either from your device or through the website, plickers.com.
Second, head over to plickers.com/cards to print out the cards your students will use to join in the fun. I used the Standard Plickers Card Set. It works quite nicely. The cards are printed on card stock and passed out to students. I have my students keep their cards in their notebooks for easy access when we need them.
Third, set up your Plickers classroom. Log into your Plickers.com account and assign each student in your class a card number. Students will use the same number every time they use Plickers.
Finally, design your assessments and let the fun begin. In your Plickers.com account, you can create short multiple-choice or true/false questions. Once you are ready to use them in class, open the Plickers app on your phone or tablet and have your students get their cards ready. Depending on the direction the student holds the card, your device will read interpret their response. You can project the answers as they are coming in anonymously—great instant feedback for students–and then as the instructor go back and get data on individual student responses.
If you are looking for a way to use technology but aren’t sold on depending on the students to provide the technology, Plickers may be for you. Or, if you’re just looking to change things up a bit, substitute Plickers for polleverywhere, Kahoot!, or Socrative to keep your teaching innovative and fresh. If you use it, let us know; we would love to hear what you think!