Classroom Connect is a useful application for testing a learners understanding of a particular concept that is being presented or taught. The power behind this app is the ability to set your own questions to determine knowledge and understanding which is then recorded instantly on a helpful real time reporting system. This review is based on the latest version of the software Classroom Connect Version 1, 30th July 2015.
Setting up the Teacher app is quick and simple only requiring a school name, your name with password and a password hint. Once into the app you have a logical set of menu buttons to choose from that guide you through the process of designing and transmitting the lesson/quiz to the students.
The first thing to do is set up your groups and list students in each of these, a simple process, with a nice refinement for inputting a group of students in one go, instead of one at a time. Once you have set up the groups you can test it out by using some of the pre supplied example quiz and lessons listed in the ‘Transmit a lesson or quiz’ menu. At this stage you need to determine if you want to send the information one sheet at a time (as a Lesson), which you, the teacher controls, or send the whole package at once (a Quiz). The toggle buttons are not very large but they determine which mode you want to transmit. When moving to the next screen you have the choice to select from a group of students that you have previously selected or enter the names of students manually. The final screen is a useful summary of what you have selected before you actually transmit the lesson/quiz to the learners.
Once the lesson/quiz has been submitted you can see an intuitive screen that lists the students within the group with the names highlighted in green to show that they are ‘on line’ and connected to your quiz. As the students work their way through the quiz you get a pretty instant (three second refresh rate) update on how many questions they have done and the number they have right and wrong. Clicking on the individual student line will bring up a more detailed analysis of the quiz/lesson.
When the lesson is over you can exit the screen and you will be provided with a summary of the last 100 sessions for you to view on a web page that can also be printed. The information provided can also be usefully broken down into individual student analysis for each lesson and quiz.
Once you have tried out a few of the pre designed lessons it is time to venture into the customization section. The process of customization is relatively simple and is a question of loading up your own pictures, then developing your own group of screens to then associate with your personal lesson. The intuitive layout guides you through the process and you can then decide which pictures are correct in the context of the question that you have entered. When this is complete repeat the transmit process again; simple and seamless! A neat feature of sharing this lesson with other teachers is also provided.
The student application simply connects to the class by entering the name of the school, the teacher and the student name. Versions on the Mac and Windows machines also provide you with an Accessibility button where you can choose between a ‘text to speech’ drag and drop facility to answer a question or a ‘step scanning’ facility to use the space bar and enter key on the keyboard for answering. The learner then proceeds through the screens transmitted from the teacher application, again the layout and navigation are simple and each screen has a help button to notify the teacher when the learner is stuck.
Classroom Connect is a very useful application for testing the understanding of individual students and because of the near instant feedback provided to the teacher it makes a worthy tool to have in your portfolio for formative assessment activities. Classroom Connect is simple to use and useful for a variety of contexts across subjects and key stages.