Plickers: Easy and Free Formative Assessment Tech Tool

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Feb 11, 2016 10:53:38 AM

Plickers is such a fun tool with a myriad of uses in the classroom!  If you haven't heard of plickers, they are definitely worth a look!

Here's how Plickers works:

To set-up

  • Step One: Get the plickers app on a teacher device (iOS or android).
  • Step Two: Add your class(es) and enter questions and answers from the website or the app. Note: questions can be multiple choice or true/false. Add questions to the queue.
  • Step Three: Print enough cards from your class from the plickers website for FREE or buy sturdy laminated cards from amazon if you plan to use them often.
  • Optional Step Four: Assign student names to card numbers if you want to know how students answered specifically.


To use: 

  • Step One: Have the website ready to project and the app open (both signed in to the same account). You don't have to project the questions/answers if you want to keep it private for some reason.
  • Step Two: Pass out plickers cards.  Show students how each card is unique and point out that each card has small letters A,B,C,and D.
  • Step Three: Project the first question from the website and ask students to hold their cards with the correct answer on top (A,B,C, or D).
  • Step Four: Scan answers with the app and watch the graph auto-populate; the cards work 20-25 feet away so don't worry about the back row! (Make sure to have it on graph mode and not individual students if you are projecting it.) Discuss the correct answers in real time or later.
  • Optional Step Five: Check the student score sheet to see how individual students preformed.

Want to see it in action? Search "plickers" in youtube and see amazing examples!  I would show you students in my school, but I don't have permission to film them for this purpose.  You can also find out more from:

This is why I love Plickers:

  • You only have to rely on ONE device working, being charged, having the app, connecting to the internet, etc. The device can be almost any phone or tablet that can download the app from the app store or google play.  I also love tools like schoology and socrative, but the margin of error can be high when every student and teacher simultaneously need a fully functional device. Plickers is a simple tool that saves a ton of time in set up when compared to other options.
  • The cards let students have fun with formative assessment without feeling the social pressure or embarrassment of all classmates knowing their responses.  The letters are really small and the codes are unique, which makes it hard to know what other students are answering.  Note: It isn't impossible to see other students' answers if someone is really trying, which is why I only recommend this for formative assessment.
  • The instant bar graph gives me a pretty good sense of areas that students have mastered or need more practice in.
  • The optional scoresheet allows me to see how individuals are performing.

Ideas for when to use Plickers in the classroom:

  • See what students already know or don't know about the context of a new novel. For example, if you are starting The Grapes of Wrath, put up a few multiple choice questions about The Great Depression to see how aware students are of the coming plight of the Joad family.
  • Practice SAT, ACT, Common Core, or other standardized test questions. I like these types of questions for a warm-up activity that moves even more smoothly and quickly with plickers.
  • Review a lesson or unit.
  • Gather preferences. Occasionally I poll my students on preferences for certain readings or performance assessments.  Plickers allows me to quickly gather the information and avoid students ganging up on peers with different preferences.
  • Any other polling or multiple choice situation that comes up!

Would you or have you used plickers? We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below!

Topics: Assessments, Classroom Tech, formative assessment, plickers, tech, technology, tips

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