Dear Lazy Web,
On the train yesterday, reading The Multiplayer Classroom, I was thinking about pedagogical problems, problems that could be resolved using lower-tech solutions than arming a classroom full of students with individual clickers. I know I’d really like a way to leverage students’ laptops (many fewer in UK classrooms than in US classrooms, I notice) or smartphones to make possible a sort of University Quiz team question-answering exercise.
So this is my Lazyweb request: a web page to which a set number of entrants could log in, which would register the order in which those entrants clicked in response to a question. That is, at the beginning of class, three (or seven) team captains (or individual quiz players) would log in to aforesaid page. The page would display the names of each entrant, provide a button for them to click, and would have a ‘clear’ button for the referee to restart the question process. At the beginning of a question round, the referee would read* a question, and the page would note which team/entrant clicked their button first (and, ideally, which second, third, and so on — but the key would be registering the first).
One could envision lots of bells and whistles†, but at its heart, this would provide an indisputable arbiter of who clicked first, and that’s what I’m looking for. Lazyweb, are you listening?
* Clearly it would be possible, in a more advanced version (see below) to do the whole thing online, with the referee typing the question gradually into a chat box, or the interface revealing the question gradually — but those are the ornate icing on the very basic cake I’m wishing for.
† As above, a completely online interface would be one bell or whistle; point totals would be another, sound effects to go with the first-click, the imagination devises multitudes of desiderata. But first things first: lock-in for first click. That is all.
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Google Documents should do the trick: it allows you to build forms and publish them as a web page or embed them on your website. Each repy is registered in a Google Documents spreadsheet, timestamped.
I use it for my pre-course testing, and I’m happy with it.