A free (to an extent) online app, Plickers is a tried and true way to run quizzes and questions in classrooms where wi-fi is unreliable, or devices pose a safety hazard. It relies on using printed QR codes, and the teacher’s device as a scanner.
The students carry QR cards, marked with A, B, C, or D on each edge. The instructor asks a multiple choice question (or True or False), and the students hold the corresponding side up to the ceiling. The instructor scans their answers with their phone, and gets an instant read on who is correct or incorrect. They can also display the results on a classroom screen, much like a PowerPoint, for students to check their own learning.
Start out by creating a free account at Plickers.com. Use a school email and an easy to remember password. If you ever forget your password, just click the Forgot Password link.
Once Plickers opens, it will give you a tutorial on how to get set up for using the app. Follow each of the items on the checklist to get ready to run a Plickers session. This will mean you need to get the app, create some questions, create a class, and download and print the cards.
Use the Plickers help website to learn how to use the app.
Or simply start experimenting! Many faculty report they felt this app was straightforward to learn to use.
When to Use it
Plickers is delivered using your phone or tablet. It’s best suited to collect information live in class or in the shop, when you might otherwise ask students to call out answers, or “raise their hand if…”
It can work as a substitute for Quizzes and review. Students instantly see how they did, and compare their understanding to their peers. It also allows you to add images and diagrams, and works like a PowerPoint substitute.
This is a formative or summative assessment tool. It lets students check their own learning. The Scoresheet area lets you collect reports about individual student performance, and associate this with a grade value.
Tips and Suggestions
Start with something simple. Try a 5 question quiz to check students’ understanding of a concept.
Consider laminating the Plickers cards. This will make them last longer, and if anything fails, students can use the back of the paper like a whiteboard.
Test out your survey or quiz by tossing a few cards around and practicing scanning them.