Plickers is a free, accessible, and engaging educational tool used by millions of teachers around the world to assess their students and collect instant classroom results as described to us in the "What is Plickers?" of the platform.
We are also told that the platform was designed with accessibility as a top priority, which tends to make it perfect for the vast majority of educational environments. Students answer questions by holding up unique cards, without the need for devices or student accounts, and sessions can be taken offline without an internet connection.
How does it work?
There are three main steps to using Plickers.
Plickers Tutorial - Part 1/3 - Configuring Plickers and creating a class
Frédéric Prieur, a teacher at the Bobby Lapointe middle school in Roujan (Hérault), shows us the Plickers interface in this first video as well as how to set up classes by copying and pasting Pronote lists.
Plickers Tutorial - Part 2/3 - Creating a Questionnaire and Launching the Test
In this second video, he explains about question creation, building a questionnaire and launching it for a class.
Plickers tutorial - Part 3/3 - Pedagogical use of results
In this third and final video, Frédéric Prieur shows us how to extract Plickers test results and how to interpret them. How to print out individual student tests to give them, etc.
Pierre Zinniger, an SVT teacher at Irandatz Middle School in Hendaye, uses the Plickers app to combat his students' forgetfulness.
He explains, in an interview with Eric Fourcaud for Ludomag as part of the 14th edition of EIDOS64 (to be found below), that learning methods that involve retrieving information from memory induce better long-term memorization than rereading or re-exposure to content. He describes it as advantageous for the student to then be able to check the content, get the answer to the questions or the answer key to the exercises so that they can correct their mistakes and thus consolidate the correct information in their long-term memory (Feedback).
He goes on to explain why he chose Plickers technology. And for him, the reduced cost of correction of a digital MCQ makes it all the interest for a frequent and fast use. He gives us for that different possibilities of evaluation that are available to the teacher:
At the beginning of the course, in order to:
Check what is known by the students.
Refresh their memory on the course prerequisites.
Reveal students' preconceptions.
In the middle of the course, in order to:
Check that (all) students have really understood.
Monitor the evolution of their conceptions.
Adjust one's teaching to the student's needs.
Finally, he explains that for the teacher it allows to receive feedback on 100% of the students, while allowing remobilization and remediation live.
Emmanuel Darrigrand & Hélène Guyonne
Emmanuel Darrigrand, a teacher at Jean Jaurès 1 school in Mérignac, built a sequence to discover adverbs for his CM1-CM2 students with the Plickers application. Hélène Guyonne, educational and digital advisor in the Bordeaux-Mérignac district, provides her expert view.
The "Cas d'écoles" series presents feedback from teachers who use digital technology to achieve certain educational objectives in the classroom. This feature was produced by Ludomag as part of the e-éduc meetings.
Olivier Quinet, a history-geography teacher at the Jean Rostand middle school in Montpon-Ménéstérol (Dordogne), is a pioneer in the flipped pedagogy in France. His flipped classroom mixes capsules to be viewed at home, complex tasks and in-class activities, as well as an organization of learning time based on neuroscience.
In remarks reported by YouNow, he explains using the Plickers application at the beginning of the course to make students revise in a playful way. This interactive quiz thus allows his students to review what they watched the day before at home.
Find out how Plickers is used in Olivier Quinet's flipped classroom
For François Jourde, this device allows for joyful interactions with most students. Nevertheless, he warns that the onus is still on the teacher to intelligently construct his or her questions and to consider the following recommendations:
The boxes can be integrated into a course, in order to maintain the attention of students and check their understanding little by little, or used during sessions entirely dedicated to revisions.
Their use must however remain punctual in order to preserve the fun aspect of the tool as much as possible, and avoid a lassitude of learners.
The interactive aspect can be supported by encouraging students to work in groups or to discuss their answers.
The anonymity of answers is also appreciated because it encourages participation without making it compulsory.
My opinion on Plickers
In the end, Plickers proves to be an excellent tool to encourage participation and maximize interactions between the teacher and his students, but also between students. The onus being given, all the same, to the teacher to use the right type of question according to the targeted objectives.
The application also proves to be a very good compromise to, at the same time train memory retrieval and allow maximizing feedback, in order to significantly improve learning and decrease the risks of repeating an error (cf. Activate your neurons for better learning and teaching, Odile Jacob - 2020).
Its ease of use and few logistics required are also strengths that will appeal to both teachers and their students.