Plickers — Capturing students’ responses!

Many thanks to my colleagues who are willing to loan me their printed sets, I finally get to try Plickers.  I have been toying with this idea since last year. But, I never do it as I am too lazy to print out the set.:-)

Plickers is easy to use. All you need is to download the app and the results can be shown live on the screen. We can capture the responses for the hinge-point questions using Plickers. This is particularly useful for formative assessment as we can have a sensing of what the student know.  Plicker help us to display the responses immediately. The challenge is how we made use of the responses to inform our teaching accordingly. 

I have tried using that for my P4 and P6 Science students since we are going through MCQs in Booklet A. These MCQs serve as my “hinger-point” questions.  This is how I do it

  1. Get my students into groups and they discuss on the few questions that I have chosen for about ten minutes.  They can argue if their answers differs. This is what I have been doing with them for the past 2 weeks [Link]
  2. These questions are usually hinge-point questions. Questions that can give me a glimpse of the level of understanding in the class.
  3. Get them to raise the answers and discuss their answers.

Reflection

  1. Generally, the students are more “enthu” in showing the answers rather then getting them to raise the hand.  Just a small behavioral change can bring about the effect we desired. Perhaps, that is applying the nudge theory?  [Link]
  2.  As these are “group” answers, the answers are mostly right.  For the second round, I decide to give it a twist. I allow each group to have 2 cards. In case of dispute, the group can have different answers.
  3. With more cards given to the students, answers are more varied. I can build on the students’ responses and highlight the possible alternative misconception. If appropriate ,  I even get the children to share why their friend choose that particular answer.
  4. For my P6s, I even go a step further. I challenge them to guess why I choose these questions. I am hoping that they can see the “rise-above” and try to see the “pattern” in the possible mistake their peers are making.  Not a easy task but I need to get them to start seeing beyond the question.  The “pattern” could be
    • Answer not based on data given
    • Typical wrong alternative concept (e.g., the mass will change when the object is going up/down)

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