We have been experimenting in Media Studies with flipped learning as a way of attempting to get through masses and masses of topic content that the new A Level specification contains. There simply isn’t enough time in the academic year for us to even attempt to teach everything that the students need to know and so we’ve had to be creative. Today I’m creating a Socrative quiz to test the students’ reading of some Christmas holiday flipped learning on representation in news and the theory of news values and gatekeeping. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! This quiz will be used by each class from Monday-Friday next week and the results used as a way of testing student understanding of the topics. The results will also handily feed into the progress grades that we are due to set for year 12 students over the coming month.
So, why use Socrative for this? There are plenty of other quizzing apps and websites that can be used to test students in the same way. Moodle has an integrated quizzing app; Kahoot is fun and the students love it; Plickers is great and doesn’t require students to have access to devices or the internet; and we are lucky enough to have access to a whole class set of quizzing devices that connect in to PowerPoint. I could stand at the front of the class and just read out a series of questions. But I always find myself going back to Socrative. The interface is so easy to navigate – it’s really straight forward to set up quizzes that contain a mixture of multiple choice, yes/no or open ended answers; it looks good and is very easy to launch and use in the classroom, working on a ‘classroom number’ that the students input into their device/laptop that connects to your own quizzing page. You can share quizzes with other staff, and probably the most important element for me is the ability to download the results into a pdf or excel spreadsheet – I import the results straight into my excel mark book. I can download individual results for each student and see very quickly which parts of the test the students struggled with the most, which in turn helps me to plan my teaching to meet the needs of my students, plugging any gaps.
What is also important to me is that the students like Socrative. They like using technology in their learning, and they like Socrative because they can work at their own pace and aren’t ‘exposed’ because they are not revealing their knowledge (or lack of knowledge!) to the rest of the class. They do like the competitive element too. One student said to me that they don’t feel that they are being ‘tested’ in the same way when using Socrative, which means that this student takes it more seriously than they would if it was a verbal quiz that everyone worked through at the same pace.
The test now is for the Media Studies team to find more interesting ways of setting up flipped learning activities. That task is for another Sunday afternoon.