Sunday, May 25, 2014

Digital Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are an an integral part of the learning process. They can provide valuable feedback to the teacher about their students’ learning. This feedback can be used to adjust teaching to ensure students successfully meet the learning objectives.

I reviewed three digital formative assessment tools, Kahoot, Socrative, and Padlet.  I learned how to use these tools through the online tutorials available on their websites.   I was able to quickly learn how to use the tools and found them to be very easy to use. All three tools are free, web based, and no software downloads are required.  Student registration is also not required for any of the tools. The tools are user friendly and easy for teachers to quickly start using.  Students have access to the formative assessments created through a link and a password or number.

Kahoot - Kahoot is a student response system. It has a game-like interface with a timer and optional background music. Optionally, Kahoot keeps score in game-like fashion and announces winners. Kahoot may be used in any stage of the learning and teaching process. It can be used as a before learning activity to measure knowledge about what will be studied. It can be used during learning to gain feedback on the effectiveness of learning materials. A Kahoot can also be used at the end of a lesson to provide feedback on how well students have met learning objectives. This feedback can be used to determine wether the teacher needs to revisit the material or  if the class can move on to a new learning objective.

Socrative- Socrative is a student response system. Once you register, you are assigned a room number.  In order for your students to access the survey/quiz,students go to and enter the room number. Once in, teachers can scroll through questions and get immediate feedback. The question types vary from T/F, multiple choice, and open-ended questions. Similar to Kahoot, Socrative can also be used in every stage of the teaching and learning process.

Padlet - Padlet is a website of collaborative work spaces known as  “walls”. Teachers create walls for students to write on. Teachers specify how they want their wall to be shared. The software provides options on the access and writing on the wall. For example, if the wall is made private, only those with the link and password can write on the wall. This is how I plan to use Padlet with my middle school students. Students can work online in a private area that is shared only with the class.

An example of applying  Formative Assessments tools in a lesson about teaching the Dewey Decimal System

I will use Kahoot to pre-assess students’ knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System. From this data, I can efficiently create a plan for teaching and can tailor my lessons to help students meet their learning objectives. The data will also be helpful for grouping students for collaborative learning activities on the Dewey Decimal System.

I will use Socrative (my room number is 520236) to develop multiple choice questions to check student understanding of the Dewey Decimal System classification during learning. Socrative will provide a snapshot of how well students are understanding and applying the learning materials. This feedback can be used to adjust teaching materials and methods. For example, if the results of the Socrative questioning is poor, I can provide additional and different learning materials to present and explain the Dewey Decimal System.  Formative assessments during learning can help determine the effectiveness of materials used in learning and identify the need for additional or different materials for learning.

I will use Padlet to allow teams of students to show their understanding of the Dewey Decimal System classification. Students visit the wall and add subjects/topics beneath each of the Dewey Decimal Classifications.  This formative assessment will let me know if they understand the classifications of the Dewey Decimal System. From this assessment, I can identify where my instruction will go next. I may need to reteach the lesson on the Dewey Decimal System using a different approach, or the results may suggest moving on to a new learning objective for my students.

Digital formative assessments provide an excellent source of information on the effectiveness of teaching materials and methods on student learning. Formative assessments provides feedback of the learning that is occurring during instruction. By using formative assessments tools, teachers can use resources efficiently and effectively to improve student learning.  

Here is a link to a list of 36 Digital Formative Assessment Tools.

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