Friday, March 16, 2012

Generate Random Student Group with Popsicle Shticks v1.01

A colleague of suggested using my random student name picking program, Popsicle Shticks, to quickly create random groups of students for group-work. However, because the normal random name generator doesn't pull the names out of the hat once called, it didn't quite work as planned. In addition, students being what they are, will always manage to forget what group they were assigned to when called.

To address these issues I have added a random group generator to Popsicle Shticks. You can use this feature to quickly sort students into teams, or create presentation orders. When the list is made, duplicates of names in the list are removed so if you have quietly added a student twice to make sure they get selected more frequently, their name won't appear on this list twice. However, it does mean that if you have two students with the same name, you'll have to give them slightly different names in your class list. For example "Joey" and "Joey" become "Joey P" and 'Joey Z".

For more information about Popsicle Shticks, a discussion of calling on random students in class and source code, see my original post. You can download the latest version of Popsicle Shticks here: