App or learning technology used.
Plickers is an app that allows you to gather feedback from groups without all participants needing electronic devices. The group members use paper shapes that are scanned/read via the Plickers app on to a LiveView screen. You can export data and assign Plickers to each student in your group, or just use them as a one off feedback tool. You could use Plickers in staff training, teaching, careers work: any time you want to glean feedback ‘there and then’ and encourage interaction.
The Plickers app is a free app, available for both android and iPhone. There is the option to purchase a set of 40 pre-laminated Plickers cards via Amazon, although you can print and laminate your own Plicker sets for free. If you do make your own, remember to use matte laminate so that lights don’t shine and obscure the app.
Accompanying hardware: Plickers cards, one device with the Plickers app installed such as your phone or device. A screen to preview the results (optional and only if you want to share immediately).
Brief description of project scenario:
I used Plickers in a Level 3 Teacher Training: Award in Education and Training course that I was a part of. I used Plickers in my mini-teach on Google voice typing. The group was made up of 24 mature learners with a variety of educational backgrounds, exposure to technology and digital skills/confidence. I delivered a session on Google speech recognition and speech-to-text and then used Plickers to glean feedback from the group as to whether they would consider using Google voice typing themselves. 80% voted ‘yes, they would give it a go’ and just 20% used the Plickers cards to indicate ‘no, it wasn’t for me’. Using the Plickers allowed me to get immediate feedback on the content of my session.
What did the technology enable that could not be accomplished without it:
The technology enabled feedback to be given easily without relying on individual learners having their own devices and downloading apps to their mobile phones. You only need one person in the room to have a working Smartphone. There is no time taken up with downloading apps, as this has already been done by you before the session. It also was fun as the participants had to move around a bit to fit into the screen view and it was clear students enjoyed being able to communicate with the facilitator and seeing their results registered in real-time.
‘It was a good intro to technology for the techno-phobes, like me’. (student commenting on the Plickers use on a feedback form).
Underpinning learning theory or pedagogy applied: Inclusive teaching and widening participation.
Main positives and negatives about the technology:
Plickers are limited to a maximum of 63. When scanning the clickers, sometimes not every Plickers is picked up, however you can rescan the room and it will add the stray Plickers card without duplicating results. It takes a bit of time to hand them out to individual students but you could make laminated ones and hand them out for the length of the course.
Accompany images of artefacts or activity.
There was interest from Canterbury Christ Church University to Texas! Suzanne Vaughan, Strategic Research and Partnerships Adviser of Neighborhood Centres Inc in Houston, Texas, saw the post on our TEL blog Plickers! An easy-to-use quizzing tool and tweeted that she was intending to use it.
Suzanne later got back via Twitter to say that she had tested Plickers in a team meeting and it was ‘even better than she imagined’.
It’s very exciting to think of people Plickering from here to Texas!
Sally Burr, University of Sussex,
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