Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Cheap and Easy Student Response System for Students with Access to Computers

Student response systems are a powerful 21st century tool that really provides educators with an insight into the minds of their students in ways never before possible with such ease and efficiency. Readers of this blog and those who've been to presentations or classes I teach are familiar with my favorite system Poll Everywhere. What I love about the site is that it lets you create and administer polls via cell phone texting so there is no additionally technology required. However, in cases where all students/participants have access to computers, QuickieQ might be a better option.


QuickieQ (www.quickieq.com) offers a polling and assessment system that was built by a teacher for a teachers and has many features that educators might want. First off, QuickieQ seems to offer a wider variety of question types than Poll Everywhere, such as multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, short answer, fill in the blank, essay, ranking, sorting, “check all that apply” with an optional “other” text field, and numerical. QuickieQ also has a confidence indicator that allows the responder to designate how confident they are in their answer. This would make for some great classroom discussions and really allow educators to get a virtual peak into the minds of their students.


QuickieQ allows you to assign point vales to each of the questions and will autoscore multiple choice, yes/no, true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and numerical questions. The instructor can manual score all question types. Scores can be reported to the responder automatically at the end of a question set. According to the QuickieQ creator a soon-to-be-released update will allow the instructor to email results with comments to the responders.


Another highlight of QuickieQ is its ability to be used without a pre-made question list. With QuickieQ you can create questions easily and quickly during a live session. This would come in handy during a classroom discussion, where the conversation and students may dictate the questions being asked. When using question lists, the instructor can designate the pace that the questions are asked. For example, one teacher I heard of uses QuickieQ in an AP English class, asking one question at a time and stopping to discuss the responses after each question is asked.


Other educator friendly features of QuickieQ include: no student accounts to manage, question list sharing, simple URLs to share with responders, iPod Touch/iPhone formatting, and that it seems easy to learn and simple to operate. QuickieQ has a special, low-cost price for educators and runs $21 per teacher per year for a 35-responder license. QuickieQ is web-only at this time, so there is no SMS option.


At the low cost of $21 per year this is an effective an affordable option for classes where students have one to one access to laptops at home or school. In cases where students don't have access to computers, Polleverywhere or student response systems are a better option.


If QuickieQ seems right for you, watch this video to learn how to get started.


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