Technology tools to develop meaningful formative assessments

We all know that the current standardized test mania is not the best way of using assessment to inform teaching and enhance learning. Many teachers use technology to support more meaningful assessments. Formative assessment, which is a planned process used to elicit evidence of student progress enables teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures, or to help students themselves to adjust their current learning strategies.

Developing students’ skills to evaluate, synthesize, and apply their learning are important classroom lessons, but teachers can also use a variety of formative assessments to lift students to higher levels of understanding.

Formative assessments should also align to the instructional domains of your district’s teacher evaluation tool.

Here is a list of technology tools you can use in the classroom to assess students:

TodaysMeet –

TodaysMeet creates a free web-based feed that educators can use in real time. TodaysMeet supports the increase in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) pedagogy. TodaysMeet also provides a backchannel option. Backchannel provides a way for students to share in conversation while participating in instruction.

Socrative –

Socrative is a free and powerful online assessment tool that allows you to create a variety of assessments, such as self-paced quizzes, exit tickets and quiz games. Students can respond to questions using a variety of devices. Teachers can use the variety of question options provided to poll students and gather feedback in a multiple formats. The My Socrative feature is a report that is generated immediately following each assessment.

Kahoot –

This is a free game-based classroom response system. The site allows you to assess student learning in an engaging way and is very simple to use. Kahoot lets you build fun quizzes. Students can use any device to participate.

Google Forms –

Google Forms are my favorite among the types of Google Docs. Google Forms allows you to quickly create an assessment with various types of questions. You can deliver the assessment via email, by sharing the link, or by embedding the link into a website. The ultimate feature is that Google automatically generates a spreadsheet upon creation of a form. If you’re interested in using Google Forms for formative assessments, be sure to check out Flubaroo.

Flubaroo –

You can use Flubaroo to create simple and quick quizzes, and have them graded right inside of Google Apps. Flubaroo is a Google Sheets add-on that scores quizzes and publishes them to a spreadsheet. Flubaroo is a favorite of many teachers.

Plickers –

Plickers is a powerful tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data. Plickers lets you poll your class for free, without the need for student devices. Just give each student a plicker card, and use your iPhone to scan them to do instant checks-for-understanding and exit tickets.

Polleverywhere –

This is a free site for creation of a one question poll. Students can respond to questions using a variety of devices. Students can see responses live on the web or in a PowerPoint presentation. Check out all the features at the website.

Quizlet –

This site is a free resource that allows students to study for anything. Quizlet’s flashcards, quizzes, and study games make learning fun and engaging. This tool works on multiple platforms, as well as mobile devices.
Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction to provide feedback to adjust instruction and learning. This assessment should not be viewed as a supplement to instruction, but in a well-designed instructional plan it is an integral part of the instruction.

Darryl Ensminger is an NJEA associate director of Professional Development and Instructional Issues. Contact him below.