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An app for calling on students

November 3, 2011

Pikme student screen with buttons below for stats, rating, email

Pikme is a very simple iPhone app that randomly picks students from a list, without repeating until every name has been called. It was reviewed in ProfHacker a while back, so I thought I’d take a look.

To set up the app, enter a name for a course or group in one of the five available positions. Then tap the class name and enter student names. There’s no way to import a list, but you can attach a photo to each student.

To use the app, select a class to bring up the student list and then shake the phone. It will randomly pick a student without repeating from the list. Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust this to, say, allow you to call on a student twice before repeating the list, so the farther down the roll you go, the less surprised people are going to be.

You have the option to rate student responses on a three-point scale and store the ratings. Later on you can view a student’s average rating, see the total number of questions asked and reset the ratings. There’s no way to see an entire class’ ratings at once – you have to go student-by-student.

This is a free app that can help you be fair about how often you call on students. It was written by a college professor and a couple of students – kudos to them!

The app is simple and does what it claims, but it’s also clunky and requires a fair number of taps to get things done. All in all, if this strategy for keeping track of student answers sounds like it might meet a need for you, I say give it a shot!

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