Student Response Tools

Faculty commonly pose questions to a whole class, seeking to engage students with course material and with each other. Student response tools add structure to this technique. The results support formative assessment, "just in time" teaching,peer instruction exercises, and more. In the past, student response systems required special hardware (clickers and receivers), but have mostly transitioned to web-based services and apps — which makes them easier to use and opens up asynchronous uses.

As much as you can, please use familiar tools provided and supported by the University or College — chiefly Courses, Google applications, Panopto, and Zoom.

Courses features multiple tools that can be used as student response systems.

  • The Tests & Quizzes tool can gather student responses synchronously or asynchronously. Tests & Quizzes calculates various statistics as appropriate to the question type, including distribution of answers, though it doesn't optimize these for aesthetically pleasing presentation to an audience.
  • The Polls tool only uses multiple-choice questions and presents only aggregate results, not individual student responses.
  • For asynchronous responses to material presented in the Lessons tool, you can insert inline Questions directly into the page.

If Courses doesn't meet your needs, you may want to consider additional tools. Please avoid tools that would incur fees for students.

Multimodal Response Tools

Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a popular, easy-to-use tool best suited (on the free plan) to multiple-choice questions with four choices. Kahoot! quizzes can be run synchronously (in class) or asynchronously (as homework, as in this example). Running a synchronous Kahoot! quiz via Zoom requires you to share your screen, specifically the web page you would normally project onto a screen in the classroom, because students see only the choice buttons — not the question itself — on their devices. You can also assign Kahoot! quizzes to be completed asynchronously.

Kahoot! has several pricing options. Most faculty will find the free basic plan sufficient, but you can also unlock more question types and more advanced features with the pro ($3 per month), premium ($6 per month), or premium+ ($9 per month) plans.

Nearpod

Nearpod adds interactions to instructors' slideshows, using its own framework. Essentially, you upload your slides as images, then add new "slides" that contain quiz questions, web pages, or other types of interactions and media. Nearpod is optimized for a model in which you display a slideshow and students follow along with the slideshow in the Nearpod app, on their own devices. Nearpod supports a range of question types, including multiple choice and free response.

Nearpod offers silver (free), gold ($120 annually), and platinum ($349 annually) plans. Each tier allows for more students per session, more storage space, and more features (question types and analytics) than the one before it.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is a popular polling tool with many different question types. In addition to simple multiple-choice questions, Poll Everywhere offers free-response questions, ordering exercises, clickable images, and more. Polling results can be shown to the audience immediately. Poll Everywhere is a web-based application, but can be integrated with Google Slides, Keynote, or PowerPoint for a smoother presentation.

Poll Everywhere's free plan for higher education gives you an unlimited number of questions, but only accepts 40 responses per poll. If you need more responses, or you want to restrict who can answer your poll and track user interaction with sophisticated analytics, you'll need a premium plan for $349 per semester. Poll Everywhere offers a "student plays" plan; please do not adopt it.

The CTE has not reviewed Acadly. iClicker is not recommended, because of its student fee pricing structure.

Video-Embedded Response Tools

While the tools previously described can be deployed synchronously or asynchronously, a few student response tools exist that really only make sense for asynchronous applications.

Panopto

Panopto is a video hosting platform with recording and editing capabilities, introduced to Pepperdine in the summer of 2020. Among other features related to video creation and annotation, Panopto offers two key features for asynchronous student engagement.

  • Panopto enables you to insert true/false, multiple choice, multiple answer, or fill-in-the-blank questions at any point along the video timeline. These questions are best used for immediate understanding checks and formative feedback, but you can also download the results and grade them if you wish to do so.
  • Panopto's analytics tools can help you see which students have watched your videos, when, and for how long.

Pepperdine currently has two general Panopto accounts: one for the Caruso School of Law, and one for everybody else. Seaver faculty should be careful to log in using pepperdine.hosted.panopto.com, not peplaw.hosted.panopto.com.

Check, x, and panopto icon

EdPuzzle

EdPuzzle punctuates playback of existing videos with notes, multiple-choice questions, or open-ended questions (as in this example). EdPuzzle works with a variety of sources, including your own uploads, YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, TED Talks, and more. The resulting videos can be embedded into Courses anywhere that you can use the rich text editor.

The Basic Teacher plan provides free access to all features, but limits you to 20 videos. For unlimited storage, upgrade to the Teacher Pro plan for $9.50 per month.

A similar service, PlayPosit, offers a wider variety of question types, but PlayPosit's free plan is more restrictive and its premium plan costs more. (See the same example as it appears in PlayPosit.)