What did my first year students think about all of this? I asked them to fill in a questionnaire, which 39 of them did. Although statistics are meaningless here, there are still some interesting percentages. 77% of the students found the questions useful. 2.5% did not, and the others did not have an opinion. However, only 35% was motivated to pay more attention and around the same percentage said they understood the materials better. 23% said they did not, the others did not have an opinion. Of course this means there is still much room for improvement!
In a more qualitative sense, students said the advantages of the use of Socrative are that the lecturer and students see which topics are considered to be difficult; and they mentioned the fact that I could (and did) adapt my lectures on the spot if the answers showed they found a particular topic more complicated than I had first thought. They also enjoyed the increased interaction. Disadvantages were that logging in and so on takes time away from the lectures and that not everyone would want to use their phone for this purpose (if the battery is low etc.). Also, phones are seen as a distraction from the lecture.
Was Socrative a userfriendly tool? Most students thought is was easy to use Socrative, and around 60% found they enjoyed answering the questions and would want to work with Socrative in the future (10% did really not enjoy the use of Socrative, and the others were neutral).