Published: Nov. 3, 2017

Formative assessment is a crucial component of teaching and learning. Faculty often ask how to conduct ‘clicker like’ activities to gauge how well students are understanding, or not understanding concepts. While there are many ways of accomplishing this, one technology to consider is Plickers.

Plickers are cards with a unique 4-sided shape that look similar to a QR code. Each side of the shape is labeled with the letters a, b c, and d. Plicker cards are numbered either 1-40 or 1-62, depending on which set you select.   

So, how exactly does Plicker work? Once you’ve created an account on,  you’ll make a class folder, and then write T/F or multiple choice questions, with up to 4 answers. Download and install the mobile app from either the Apple App or Google Play store.

Before class, print out cards on card stock or heavy paper. Plickers are free and comes in either 40 or 62 cards per set.

During class, students pick up an assigned number, or select a card at random if tracking their answers are not important. Project through the Live View option. Then on your mobile device, open the Plickers app and select a  question from your queue. Live View automatically updates with the question you’ve selected.  

After reading the question, students select their answer by turning their square so their answer is at the top and raising their card. Once all cards are raised , scan the room using your device. Using the control settings, you can determine when the results are displayed.

Plickers typically work well in smaller courses. However, in a large enrollment course students can work in groups, and designate one person to raise a card upon reaching consensus. Since each card is unique, Plickers work especially well when discussing sensitive topics. Cards can be reused in different courses, and are a good way to spark discussion in class.  For more information, visit