Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Cheap and Easy Student Response System for Students with Access to Computers

Student response systems are a powerful 21st century tool that really provides educators with an insight into the minds of their students in ways never before possible with such ease and efficiency. Readers of this blog and those who've been to presentations or classes I teach are familiar with my favorite system Poll Everywhere. What I love about the site is that it lets you create and administer polls via cell phone texting so there is no additionally technology required. However, in cases where all students/participants have access to computers, QuickieQ might be a better option.

QuickieQ ( offers a polling and assessment system that was built by a teacher for a teachers and has many features that educators might want. First off, QuickieQ seems to offer a wider variety of question types than Poll Everywhere, such as multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, short answer, fill in the blank, essay, ranking, sorting, “check all that apply” with an optional “other” text field, and numerical. QuickieQ also has a confidence indicator that allows the responder to designate how confident they are in their answer. This would make for some great classroom discussions and really allow educators to get a virtual peak into the minds of their students.

QuickieQ allows you to assign point vales to each of the questions and will autoscore multiple choice, yes/no, true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and numerical questions. The instructor can manual score all question types. Scores can be reported to the responder automatically at the end of a question set. According to the QuickieQ creator a soon-to-be-released update will allow the instructor to email results with comments to the responders.

Another highlight of QuickieQ is its ability to be used without a pre-made question list. With QuickieQ you can create questions easily and quickly during a live session. This would come in handy during a classroom discussion, where the conversation and students may dictate the questions being asked. When using question lists, the instructor can designate the pace that the questions are asked. For example, one teacher I heard of uses QuickieQ in an AP English class, asking one question at a time and stopping to discuss the responses after each question is asked.

Other educator friendly features of QuickieQ include: no student accounts to manage, question list sharing, simple URLs to share with responders, iPod Touch/iPhone formatting, and that it seems easy to learn and simple to operate. QuickieQ has a special, low-cost price for educators and runs $21 per teacher per year for a 35-responder license. QuickieQ is web-only at this time, so there is no SMS option.

At the low cost of $21 per year this is an effective an affordable option for classes where students have one to one access to laptops at home or school. In cases where students don't have access to computers, Polleverywhere or student response systems are a better option.

If QuickieQ seems right for you, watch this video to learn how to get started.


  1. Lisa - have you tried using this yet? How did it work? Was it responsive on the network? Looks like a great, affordable alternative - just curious on how it functioned in real-time use.

    Also, I didn't see information on how the data at the end of a session is formatted. Do you know what your view is like for the data at the end, does it roll up into a larger 'grade book' for viewing results of a responder over time? Is the data exportable to the import into other systems (like ARIS or other programs schools utilize)? I did not see anything on their site addressing that.. It looked like you can export that specific session to a separate spreadsheet only

    Looks like a great, simple tool to utilize, but curious on the questions posed above. I like that it can be used on laptops, iPhones, iTouch, etc - definitely nice to NOT have to have a separate piece of hardware if you already have a device.

  2. Keith - QuickieQ is really light weight, so it is easy on networks. I encourage you to set up a free trial account and see how it works for you. Trial accounts are fully functional, but limit you to five responders.

    As for exporting data, you are correct, you can only export to spreadsheets at this time. Exporting to other systems is doable and will likely be available down the road.

    Tracking students over time would be more difficult as there are no student accounts to link the data together. I intentionally avoided student accounts because that creates a whole new layer of management on the part of the teacher - AND - some students are apt to forget their login and password. The overriding concept in QuickieQ is to keep it light, easy, quick, and simple. None the less, this is an interesting idea to kick around and if the user demand is there I can build it.

    Feel free to contact me with more questions, comments, or ideas.

    Alan - creator of QuickieQ

  3. I think this tool has tremendous potential as a complement to distance and online courses (which seem to be growing). I am thinking mostly of facilitation during synchronous classes (via videoconference for example) to garner feedback and increase interaction. However, I see no reason why it could not also be used in asynchronous environments.

    I like the flexibility and that development is focused on continually improving. This is a growing product and will respond, as Alan indicates above, to user demand. It can only get better.

    I recently was on the receiving or "student" end of a QuickieQ session during a live professional development class and I must say I was quite impressed. It was an effective and efficient way to re-frame some of the activities and succeeded in getting each individual to participate.

  4. I have a few questions about this response system. 1. Is this NYSTAL approve? 2. Can you input a question that requires the use of a diagram? I am asking question 2 because I am a math teacher and I am interested in using this system with my students, but some mathematical questions require the use of a diagram. If not, is there a program that is more math friendly?

  5. Not familiar with NYSTL, so I would guess QuickieQ is not on their list. As for diagramming, I assume you are talking about something similar to Microsoft's equation editor for doing complex fractions. QuickieQ does not have anything that sophisticated. You can do subscript and superscript for exponents.

  6. Getting back to Anonymous again..

    I added an equation editor and mathematical grapher to QuickieQ. It should take care of most math teachers' needs.