Socrative is a formative assessment tool that helps teachers and learners to assess understanding and progress in real time in class through the use of quizzes, questions and reflection questions.
Socrative is accessed via website or app, with separate apps for teachers and students. The tool is very easy to use. The teacher’s home page is clean, showing the six available features, most notably Quiz, Quick Question and Exit Ticket. Teachers click on a feature to launch it in class. Learners type in the room name and provide their answers which you can view at once. Two potentially confusing things are that quizzes need to be created in advance and the Quick Questions feature requires teachers to pose a question orally in class rather than type it into the tool.
Language level and skills.
Socrative doesn’t directly develop skills but it does it indirectly by helping teachers identify learners’ understanding or misunderstanding. Let’s say, for example, learners are reading a text in their coursebook. You could create a quiz with the questions you want learners to answer. They read the text, do the quiz on Socrative and you see all learners’ answers immediately. You can identify problems and then address them with the class to help them read better. When teaching language, you can use the Quick Question feature to ask questions to check everyone understands the meaning, use and form of the language.
Language learning content.
This tool is designed to be used in class with whatever content the teacher and learners are working with. That means there’s no content provided by Socrative. Teachers need to create quizzes in advance but these can be reused in the future. Teachers can share a quiz with a colleague through a link, but unfortunately there’s not currently an option to search for quizzes by other teachers. Quizzes are private unless shared. The Quick Question and Exit Ticket features are designed to suit the content at hand so teachers need to come up with their own questions for these.
The whole purpose of Socrative is to track learning. Teachers can use it to assess the whole class and not only those who put their hand up. That means teachers get a better sense of what the whole class understands, rather than just a dominant few, can provide better feedback and make better decisions about the next stage of the lesson or course. My favourite feature of Socrative is the Exit Ticket feature. Learners answer three questions that push them to be more reflective at the end of a lesson or module so they can identify progress and goals.
There are no opportunities for social interaction directly on Socrative however using the tool can be used collaboratively in class. The Space Race is a team game played in real time. Quizzes can be done in pairs or groups, as can the Exit Ticket where learners reflect together on what they learnt. Although other tools are better at providing the fun factor in their assessment tools, Socrative offers greater control over how learners work and get feedback which means pairs or teams can work at their own pace and get either immediate feedback or wait for feedback from the teacher.
Learning through language.
Socrative provides some opportunities for learners to learn other skills while developing their language use. It can be used to assess learners’ understanding of other subjects in English, such as maths or history. The Exit Ticket feature also pushes learners to become more critical of their learning. I don’t mean critical of lessons, but of their performance or the way they approached an activity. By being more critical, learners begin to better understand how they learn, which can help them to work more effectively in the future.
Supporting teaching and learning.
It’s often the case that in a class, some learners regularly offer answers and others are happy to sit quietly. This is problematic, because it means the quieter learners aren’t forced to think. While some will do it internally, there are those who don’t feel they need to so who then miss out on learning opportunities. Socrative pushes all learners to think of an answer and allows their teacher to assess how well all of them understand the content of the lesson. The teacher is then better informed when deciding what learners need to help them move forward in their learning.
Technical: user safety and data security.
Teachers have to register and log in to use Socrative but learners don’t. The free version provides the main features with one room for a class. If you subscribe, you get more rooms and features. Socrative has a useful Help Center. Socrative say that they collect both teacher and student data, but they use this, or share it with third parties, only when needed to provide their services. Further information can be found here. They have a separate policy for users under 13 years old. They require teachers to follow this policy also. More information is here.