Using Plickers for assessment

As in most schools, we have a focus on assessment and looking at how we can assess children’s understanding during a lesson and how children can share their understanding. Whiteboards have always been a good tool for children to respond to multiple choice questions with: A, B, C & D but often you will see children copying what their peers may have written down and so not necesssraily understanding what has been asked of them. Dylan Williams discusses this in his short video on hinge questions.

Within our school, key stage two is now 1:1 for iPads and so I’ve been looking at how iPads can be used as an assessment tool. Apple TV is a great resource to show children’s work, during a lesson, and share ‘best mistakes’ where children can then discuss mistakes made and how to improve, along with good examples of work too.

One app I’ve finally tried this week with Year 4 is Plickers, which is a powerful, simple tool  that doesn’t require 1:1 devices. Plickers allows teachers to collect real-time formative assessment data. The Plickers cards help protect students’ privacy so they can answer teacher questions honestly without worrying about what their peers think of their answer.

Once you have signed up to Plickers, go to ‘classes’ and set up your class, you can copy and paste names in from a class list or type in manually; once you press ‘Save’ each student will then be allocated a number. Next step is to click on ‘cards’ in the top right menu and choose the size cards you wish to use for your class, these can then be printed and laminated. Each card can then be given to the student it’s been assigned to.

To add your questions go to ‘library’ ‘add new’ and then type your question, you can have 4 multiple choice answers or true and false. Remember to click the correct answer! You can add images to your questions if you like too! To add a question to your class click the calendar below the question and ‘+ add to queue’ then click on your class. There are so many possibilities of questions and cross-curricular subjects.

You’re now ready to go! Download the ‘Plickers App’ onto your iPad. You will then need to run the web application from your MacBook and Airplay this onto your board, click on ‘Live View’. When you ask a question students then hold up their card, if their answer is ‘A’ they hold their card with the ‘A’ at the top, if it’s ‘B’ they hold it with ‘B’ at the top and so on… All the teacher has to do then is scan the students responses on the iPad! As you scan names they appear in green if students have ‘got it’ or red if not. It’s then up to you to decide if you want some to work on a similar question, move some on etc…

It’s that simple!

The children in 4D loved using the Plickers cards as an assessment tool and stated how they didn’t feel as worried at their peers looking at their answers. They also had lots of ideas how Plickers can be used to test spelling understanding, SPAG, science questions etc and can be used as a starter, hinge questions and exit passes too!

Have a go and see what you think!

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