Important Considerations for Using Digital Assessment Tools
Technology and the interactive web provides ample opportunity to gauge student understanding and learning in ways not possible just a few short years ago. Not only can the formative assessment process be engaging, it can also be owned by students. In this post I wish to explore some of those tools that allow teachers to take short temperature reads while involving students in their learning. Before introducing the tools I have several thoughts and ideas that should be considered before using any tool provided on the web. Remember that student privacy is very important and any tool used should be approved by the school district and sanctioned in some way with the District AUP (Acceptable Use Policy. With this in mind you should:
- Read and be aware of your district AUP (Acceptable Use Policy)
- Do not sign up students for accounts, or put in an online class list, without checking district policy
- If a tool states that students not have to sign up… still be sure that students do not leave a digital footprint that leaves an identity
- Educate and encourage students to practice proper digital citizenship at all times
The sites listed below allow for some wonderful interaction. Please enjoy and use with your students in both an educational and responsible manner. Take a moment to explore the program, learn and reflect on possibilities, and investigate through the terms, privacy, and your school AUP, how they can best serve your students.
Kahoot – This is an amazing formative assessment tool that allows an educator to:
- Make quizzes
- Start a discussion
- Create A Survey
If your students like a gaming environment complete with a leaderboard, this tool will be a hit in the classroom. Content questions can be used and the teacher has access to all results. How do you get started? All a teacher needs is a free Kahoot Account which can be obtained at https://getkahoot.com/. The below manual explains how to make an interactive activity with Kahoot. Remember this is a Web 2.0 Tool. It is suggested for students to use nicknames or first names only. Enjoy the tutorial. You can also learn more from the manual.
- Multiple Choice
- Open Ended Text
- True False
- Sort In Order
- Likert Scale
Infuse Learning works on a variety of devices and uses most browsers except Internet Explorer. Watch the below tutorial to see how easy it is to use.
Answer Garden – Welcome to another online tool to allow for Formative Assessment and engage students in discussion. Answer Garden allows the teacher to set up a website that gathers student input and ideas. As students answer a question prompt, their answers appear on the home Answer Garden screen set up by the teacher. Both teacher and students have an opportunity to see what the ideas of the crowd really are. It is simple to use. Since this is a open web tool students should be reminded to not answer with personal or identifying information. No student log in is required. Ways to use Answer Garden:
- Pose a Driving Question
- Collect ideas and opinions
- Look for adjectives that describe a character in a book
- Use as a polling mechanism… large words most popular
- Look for number of class that can get a correct answer
- Incorporate in a Socrative Seminar
- Align words to an idea, concept, place, or object
- Compare and contrast using two Answer Gardens
- Exit ticket of a learned concept
- Get feedback on an upcoming test
- Your idea
Answer Garden can also be uploaded to Wordle or Tagxedo to create a Word Cloud. In the area below take a moment to learn more about how to use Answer Garden. Explore these opportunities To Learn More About Answer Garden
- Check out this Quick Start Guide
- Look at this Demonstration of Answer Garden
- Learn more about Answer Garden with these Facts
- Answer Garden One Page Direction Sheet
Quizlet – This is a wonderful study tool that allows for self-assessment by students. Quizlet has a variety of flashcards, tests, and study games that make learning fun and engaging for students of all ages. It also can be used on any computer at home or school, and on the go using the free mobile apps. The free account allows teachers and students to create study sets, track study progress, and compete while working collaboratively with others. Note that the free version does include some advertisements. Along with creating a Quizlet, it is also possible to find ones that just might help from a large database made by others. While class set ups are not required, it should be noted that there are opportunities to set up a class and Terms and Privacy policies should be compared with school AUP if doing so. There are even ways to password protect each Quizlet. Take a moment to explore the following areas of Quizlet.
Socrative – This is an amazing feedback tool that allows the teacher to get some quick formative feedback on student learning, understanding, and reflection. It is based on the teacher creating “Quick Question” activities that can include Multiple Choice, True False and Short Answer They are intended to be quick and easy pulse checks with visuals. Students can use just about any device. It also allows for the student to remain anonymous. In short answer areas students should not post identifying information. As in all of these tools, it is sometimes best to have students use first name only, or nicknames. There are reports that are always available in the REPORTS section found after selecting MANAGE QUIZZES from the teacher dashboard. Reports can be downloaded or emailed after a class completes a Quiz. There is even a game feature. There are other advanced features that allow for class set up and student collaboration if it is appropriate for age of students. As always please be sure to check Terms and Privacy and see where your intended usage aligns with district AUP. Learn even more by exploring the below links:
Michael Gorman has overseen a one-to-one laptop program and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has also served as a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning; served on the National Faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute); and been an adviser for Tech & Learning magazine. His awards have included district Teacher of the Year, Indiana state Teacher of the Year semi-finalist, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year, Advocate for Johns Hopkins University, and Microsoft’s Global Education Hero award. Mike maintains his award winning 21centuryedtech Blog and also posts articles at T&L and November Learning.
Learn more now with materials from these toolkit and resource collections: