If you’ve ever asked your students “are there any questions?” you’ve likely received blank stares and shrugs. Assuming this to mean everyone understands the content, you move on. But what if students aren’t sure how to articulate what they don’t understand? Or what if they’re too shy or embarrassed to admit they are confused? Or maybe you’re simply looking for a way to get greater feedback from and interaction with students during lecture? GoSoapBox could be just what you’re looking for!
GoSoapBox is an audience response system (a “clicker” tool) that works on any device that connects to the Internet. This tool allows you to survey the class for understanding, quiz them on content, and encourage discussion. The beauty of GoSoapBox is the simplicity of the user interface despite offering numerous features. For example, “Social Q&A” allows students to contribute ideas and up-vote the ones they like. This could be great for an exam review: students submit questions and vote for the ones they really want to spend class time discussing.
The “Confusion Barometer” is a super simple way to gauge just how well students really understand the material. Instructors can see a live graphical display of how many students are confused by the material being covered and can then adjust their teaching strategy as necessary. GoSoapBox also offers quizzing, polling, and discussion board features, which allow for short answer/open-ended responses.
Students can respond with their names or anonymously, so GoSoapBox can be used to monitor students as well as allow sensitive opinions to be freely shared. Instructors can even export reports in spreadsheet form to track student performance.
So why explore GoSoapBox instead of PollEverywhere? If you have a class of 30 students or fewer, GoSoapBox is free and provides features that Poll Everywhere doesn’t, such as the quick and easy “confusion barometer” and threaded discussions. It’s also a simpler interface so it’s quite user-friendly, while PollEverywhere can sometimes be clunky. However, if you have course enrollment of over 30 students, I would not pay for GoSoapBox; our site license for PollEverywhere provides a great audience response system for free.
Cost: Free for courses of 30 students or fewer
GoSoapBox Blog (for updates and tips): http://gosoapbox.com/blog/