Practice Exchange: Socrative

Goldbach, Bernard (2014) Practice Exchange: Socrative. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


During the 2013/14 academic year, my hands-on usage of Socrative with six different cohorts of students on three separate campuses involving seven different nationalities has proven the efficacy of in-hand student-paced electronic clickers. In this Practice Exchange, I will demonstrate both the pedagogy and practicality of using multiple choice questions in a dynamic learning environment with third level students from diverse cultural Background s. The evidence, gathered from analysing IT and business students from first through fourth years, suggests a well-implemented distance education short-form quiz strategy can reduce attrition while enhancing retention of complex concepts. My evidence-based practise supports previous research findings that conclude responsive teaching promotes student involvement. (Olneck 1995). Socrative is free cloud-based eAssessment software as a service. Its quick-loading quizzes display live and elegantly summarised results to immediately document student learning. In clicker mode, Socrative allows teachers to gauge learning and to instantly emphasize weak area, based on student trends. When operated as an app on iOS and Android or as a mobile-friendly web site on Windows Phone, Symbian or Blackberry, Socrative brings a student-centred pace to testing. The Socrative system does not remove the obligations of careful planning and responsive teaching. In actuality, it merely works as a handheld (or desktop) online quiz tool. However, Socrative complements a holistic teaching environment and has helped foster the kind of continual engagement often cited as essential in best teaching practices (Ogbu 1995). In this Practise Exchange, Socrative's powerful student response system enjoys treatment as a strong support mechanism of responsive teaching. Its implementation and use will be demonstrated from syllabus overview through lecture prep to examination prep. Evidence in this Practice Exchange evolved through an entire academic year with five different operating systems on desktops, laptops and handheld devices. During that time period, the Socrative platform evolved significantly while retaining strong pedagogical underpinnings based on the Teaching for Understanding framework, Bloom's Taxonomy, the Socratic method and John Seely Brown's philosophy of play, questioning and imagination. Each of these foundation elements receive contextual reference in the presentation. Socrative's tools benefit from being super simple and highly robust. The on-screen feedback enhances classroom engagement, improves assessment and personalises the learning process. Attendees at this Practice Exchange will observe a workflow that could bring a rich educational experience to a classroom without the need to accommodate a steep learning curve or ask for technical assistance. It offers a new way of integrating clever technology into teaching and learning while maintaining a high priority on reflection.

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