Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hassle Free Diagnostic and Formative Assessment Data

Educators are being asked to use assessment data to drive instruction. From starting your class with diagnostic assessments, to keeping on track of progress with formative assessments, teachers know how important it is to understand student competency levels as part of demystifying instruction.  As states move towards high-stakes summative assessments, technology can be leveraged to provide year round feedback to ensure more successful results on these important tests.   The following tools can help provide hassle-free diagnostic and formative assessment data.  

Diagnostic Assessments are a great way to identify student capacities prior to starting the teaching effort.  Typically these assessments are done as pre-tests, self-assessments and collaborative brainstorming sessions.  Prior to the digital classroom, diagnostic assessments didn’t always provide a granular detail of the classroom.  In some cases students appeared to have a strong understanding of a concept, but in fact were lacking in fundamentals that were required for the next lesson to continue. The following tools help teachers get valuable diagnostic data that can help them locate those that might need additional support.

Diagnostic Assessment Tools:

Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system. Create and play quizzes, discussions or even surveys (which we call Kahoots) using any device with a web browser. Students engage in the quizzes as it transforms any technology environment, including BYOD, into one that is equipped for interactive quizzing.

Answer Garden
Answer Garden is an awesome student response tool that allows you to present a question or topic to a group, gather responses and display responses in a word cloud. This tool can be used as an effective brainstorming, discussion, and icebreaking tool in and out of the classroom.

Padlet is an awesome virtual version of old school sticking post-it notes to the board with additions that make it an exciting collaboration tool for the classroom. Padlet allows teachers and students to share ideas, links, photos, files, videos etc. to an online board that can be utilized in many different forms. Padlet is a great addition to any classroom.

Formative Assessments are a big part of the modern student's academic career.  With the addition of technology, these assessments provide improved information and the ability for the teacher to react quicker.  In the past a teacher might have generated test results using a bubble sheet or graded papers manually.  Often the data received from these results was linear between the teacher and student.  Modern formative assessments when taken using classroom technology can provide the teacher with data that relates to their performance on specific measurable goals, not just an individual's performance on an exam.  In addition, tools exist today that allow for assessments to be part of video content as well as embedded into presentations.  This allows for a greater variety of assessment opportunities that are less intrusive to the instruction process.  

Formative Assessment Tools:

EDpuzzle is an online tool that allows you to take videos from an online source, edit or trim to the parts you need, and add your own voice or annotation to the video with a built-in quizzing feature. EDpuzzle is an excellent tool for flipping the classroom or creating a video lesson.

Socrative is an assessment tool that allows students to use a variety of technology devices to take formal and informal quizzes and assessments online and have the results reported back to the educator. The results are then presented in an easy to understand representation that helps teachers make correlations that they might have missed with more traditional assessment methods.

Zaption allows video content from online sources, trim that content and add text and quizzing information. In addition preexisting Zaption videos live in an online library and can be used in your classroom.

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