Assessment, instructional technology, Pedagogy, TLT, Web 2.0

Quick Audience Feedback with GoSoapBox

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.

GoSoapBox Social Q&A

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.

GoSoapBox Confusion Barometer

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.


Platform: Web

Cost: Free for courses of 30 students or fewer


GoSoapBox Blog (for updates and tips):

plickers, clickers simplified
Assessment, Collaboration, Google Apps, iPad, Pedagogy, TLT

Paper + Clickers = Plickers: an easy way to add interaction to your classes

Clickers (or audience response systems) are a great way to check for understanding, poll students’ opinions, and even give quizzes.  Normally it requires the students to have a purchased clicker such as iClicker or Turning Point or a phone, tablet or computer for use with software like Poll Everywhere.  Either way, there is an investment of some type and this may make those of you new to polling a bit nervous.  Well now there is an easy and investment-free way to get started with clickers in your class.  It’s called Plickers (Paper Clickers).  Thanks to Tamara Kirshtein in Teacher Education for sharing this with TLT.

Plickers requires only the professor to have a phone or tablet with a camera and the students to have, you guessed it, paper clickers.   Here’s how it works:

example of a picker card


  1. Professor goes to and sets up a class (free).
  2. Professor prints out the free Plicker cards and distributes one to each student (up to 63 students).
  3. Professor asks a question in class.
  4. Students hold up their cards with the right answer at the top.
  5. Professors uses the Plicker app (Android and Apple) to take pictures of the class.
  6. Plicker records all the answers and displays a graph.


With Plicker you can:plicker class view

  • Poll your class
  • Check for understanding
  • Tie a specific card to a student’s name and give quizzes
  • Display results in a live view in real time
  • Save data to review later

With Plicker you can’t:

  • Use it with a class larger than 63
  • Export the data for use in OAKS or other applications
  • Ask open-ended questions


It’s fast and easy to use.  It’s not as robust as some of the other applications like iClickers or Poll Everywhere but it’s a great way to get some of the benefits quickly and easily with very little investment.  Print out your cards and get started today.

Class Using Plicker