18 April 2013

Socrative + Desmos Calculator = Multimedia, Interactive, Easy Assessment

This came in my inbox today, so I figured it was safe to share this previously "secret" feature.

If you're new to Socrative, the web and app-based service is a formative assessment and survey tool that can be accessed via PC, Mac, or any web-enabled device. (Which comes in handy when the app gets glitchy some days and I can switch to the web). I wrote more about using Socrative to replace Scantrons if you want more info on practical application and a comparison to using Google Forms.

Math Assessment Writing Toolbox
  • Equations - Google Drive
  • Graphs - Desmos
  • Formatting - Socrative
Adding images and auto-grading short answer makes Socrative a powerful tool.

One of the previous shortcomings of Socrative was that any multimedia I wanted to use in assessing my students had to be via a worksheet, a different file, or on my SMARTboard. This visual disconnect resulted in errors for some students simply because the content was not adjacent to the question prompt.  Even including basic equations in the prompt was awkward because I had to write exponents with carrots (^) and rational numbers or expressions with a forward slash (/). There's still no equation editor, but now that you can embed images, you can take a screenshot from your favorite equation editing platform and insert it with the prompt (embedded images is how most equations show up on the internet anyway, so don't bemoan the work-around).

My Algebra 2 students have a short assessment on exponential functions tomorrow, so this seemed like an excellent opportunity to run Socrative through the paces and embed some beautiful exponential functions from everyone's favorite web-based graphing calculator, Desmos.

Here's a screencast of my workflow this afternoon:

I'd REALLY like to be able to add images to my MC responses, also, but overall, I'm very excited about these additions to Socrative. I don't know how they keep it free and rival many paid services, but I'm thankful!

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Thanks for sharing!