What is Plickers

Plickers is an audience response system that allows an instructor to use their mobile device to scan a classroom to read students’ paper-based voting cards.

What is the purpose of Plickers

Plickers is intended to enable instructors to pose questions (multiple choice or true/false) to students and gain real-time feedback from everyone. It was designed to offer a low-tech solution for audience polling and assessment.

How to use Plickers

Instructors create an account with Plickers and access download the Plickers app to their smartphone or tablet. Instructors then create multiple choice or true/false questions in Plickers and use the tool to display a question to students during class. Students hold up paper-based voting cards, which allows them to answer the question based on the way they orient their card. A class set of voting cards can be printed or purchased by the instructor and distributed to students. The instructor uses the app on their mobile device (smartphone or tablet) to scan the room. The app uses the camera on the device to read the voting cards and records each student’s response. Results can be displayed live for the instructor to take up or debrief with the class. Results are also archived into reports, which can be exported. Each voting cards is unique and can be linked to a student’s identity. If linked, students’ performance can be tracked and used for both summative and formative assessment.

For teaching and learning purposes, Plickers could be used to:

  • Pose a multiple choice or true/false question to the class for real time response and follow up
  • Facilitate formative and/or summative assessments of learning

Where to find Support

This tool is not centrally supported

Help and Documentation

For help, please refer to the Plickers documentation

Supported Tools to Consider

Tool Evaluation

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 2 stars


Plickers can be used in classrooms of 60 people or less. Through facilitation it would be possible to use Plickers to poll smaller sub-groups of students.

Ease of use rating:3 stars

Ease of Use

Plickers is user-friendly; it is easy to navigate and personalize

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 2 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

Technical support and help documentation is available in the form of web pages or videos

Hypermediality rating: 2 stars


Plickers allow users to pose multiple choice or true/false questions to the class. Images can be included.

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

Plickers have some limited capacity to be fully accessible for all users or for materials to be made AODA-friendly. Students must be able to comprehend the question as displayed on the projected screen and be able to properly orient their card.

User Foused Participation rating: 3 stars

User-focused participation

Plickers are designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning

Required Equipment rating: 3 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of Plickers does not require specialized equipment. Instructors require the use of a tablet or smartphone. Students require use of a paper polling tool which can be printed with a regular printer.

Technical overall rating: 2 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
OWL Integration rating: 2 stars

OWL Integration

Grades generated from Plickers can be integrated with the OWL gradebook by manually uploading a csv file. The csv file is easily produced by Plickers and easily uploaded to OWL. Plickers cannot be automatically synced with OWL.

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively access Plickers with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Windows 10, Apple OSX, etc.)

Web Browser rating: 3 stars

Web Browser

Users can effectively utilize Plickers with any standard, up-to-date web browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10 etc.)

Additional Tech Requirements rating: 3 stars

Additional Tech Requirements

Users can effectively utilize the tool without any browser extensions or downloaded software

Mobile Design overall rating: 3 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Plickers are fully functional with a range of electronic mobile devices (laptops, tablets, touchscreens, mobile devices, etc.)

Mobile Functionality rating: 3 stars

Mobile Functionality

There is little to no functional difference between the mobile app and the main tool

Offline Access rating: 3 star

Offline Access

When offline, an instructor is still able to scan students’ Plickers cards. This means that you can use Plickers outside of the classroom in places where you may not have an internet connection. While prevented from displaying a live view of responses, students’ scores are recorded

Usage and account set up overall rating: 2 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 2 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

An instructor account/login is required using name and email address. Students do not create an account.

Cost of Use rating:  3 stars

Cost of Use

All aspects of Plickers can be used free of charge

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 3 star

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Instructors can archive, save, and export scores in two formats: a CSV report of all student scores, or as a PDF of individual students’ performance.

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 2 star

Data Privacy and Ownership

Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; Information may be shared under a variety of conditions as stipulated in Plickers privacy policy (i.e. to “third party-business partners” and for targeted advertising to your browser or device)

Social Presence overall rating: 2 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: 2 stars


Plickers have the capacity to support a community of learning through synchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users. However there is no opportunity for asynchronous engagement beyond the face-to-face classroom.

User Accountability rating: 3 stars

User Accountability

Instructors can control student anonymity; Instructors can choose to assign each student to their own unique Plickers card and a student’s name can then be associated with that card for identification

Diffusion rating: 3 star


While Plickers are likely not very well known by students, it’s likely that most students engage with the tool without difficulty

Instructor Presence overall rating: 3 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating:3 stars


Plickers have easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and engagement

Customization rating: 3 stars


Plickers are adaptable to its environment: easily customized to suit the classroom context and targeted learning outcomes

Learning Analytics rating: 3 stars

Learning Analytics

Instructor can monitor students’ performance on a variety of responsive measures

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 2 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 2 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Plickers enables functional improvement to engagement in the targeted cognitive task(s)

Higher Order Thinking rating: 3 stars

Higher Order Thinking

Use of Plickers easily facilitates students to exercise higher order thinking skills (given consideration to design, facilitation, and direction from instructor)

Feedback on Learning rating:3 stars

Feedback on Learning

Through Plickers, students can regularly receive formative feedback on learning (i.e. they can track their performance, monitor their improvement, test their knowledge, etc.)

Security and Privacy

Security and Privacy Flags


  • Users are required to create and use a non-Western account. It is highly recommended that users do not use the same username and password that is in use at Western.

Information Collection

  • Application collects information that could identify the user specifically (email address, class schedule, etc..)


  • Acceptance of the Application's Terms of Conditions or End User License Agreement may bind the institution to an agreement thereby requiring legal counsel to review the application contract.

Cost and Approval

  • The application may require the instructor to enter credit card information

Last Updated: September 16, 2020


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