3 Technology Based Assessments to Drive Instruction

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Drop the pencils and papers, they’re not needed here. Assessment in the classroom is evolving, and there are new and exciting ways to track student understanding using interactive websites and apps.

Imagine this- displayed on your student’s computer or tablet is the question you developed to assess their learning. As you look down on your device you are seeing their answers as they are submitted in real-time. This is no longer just something you imagine, because here are the websites to make this a reality in your classroom. Below, I examine 3 online assessment tools that offer a variety of features to teachers and students.

Make sure you check out number 3 on the list… it is a HOOT!

1. Nearpod

Nearpod is an interactive presentation website that allows teachers to instruct and assess within the same presentation. Presentations are created or accessed in the Nearpod library, and are viewed by students on their devices in real-time or at their own pace. Slides can include media like videos, images, text, websites, PDF files, and audio as well as interactive features like open ended questions, fill in the blank, multiple choice, and drawing. As the teacher you are not only sharing lesson content with students, but also learning from their submissions via a visual report displays student participation, answers, and reflections.This data helps drive instruction and expose student understanding.

Students do not need to create a username to use Nearpod, as they access the quiz by entering the quizzes session code on nearpod.com. Nearpod is also available as an app.

2. Socrative

Socrative is an online website that allows teachers to create quizzes that include multiple choice, short answer, and true/false format questions as well as exit tickets and polls. There is no need for students to create an account. From their devices, all students have to do is enter the class code to access the current quiz being given by the teacher. Depending on the quiz settings, students answer questions in real-time or student paced and feedback can be provided for each answer. Like Nearpod, student answers are able to be seen by the teacher as they are submitted and a report is available as well. There is no library to use quizzes developed by others, however, you can import quizzes with a code provided by a quiz’s creator.

One of my students’ favorite quiz formats is called the “space race”. Students work either alone or in groups to complete the quiz. For every correct answer their space ship advances. The spaceship that moves the furthest in the shortest time “wins”. Since the space ships move with every correct answer, students love to look up at the SmartBoard to see where their spaceship is. LOTS of excitement with this format.

3. Kahoot!

On the topic of excitement, this site really nails it. From their devices students are provided with an access code to enter the quiz, and students do not need to create an account. Quizzes include multiple choice questions created by the teacher or from the Kahoot! library. The goal is to be the first person to answer the question on the screen correctly and with each submission students are given points for answering correctly and the speed of their correct submission. After time has elapsed for the question, the correct answer is shown along with the names of the students with the highest point values. While this is being displayed on the SmartBoard, student’s devices show them how many points they need to catch up to the person ahead of them. This way, students who are not displayed as a high scorer don’t know exactly what place they are in and continue to be motivated to reach that next person ahead of them. Student results are available to the teacher as a report that can be downloaded as a file or into Google Drive.

Each of these sites offers different features and benefits in regard to assessing students in the classroom. With each there is flexibility in device, as each can be accessed from computers, smartphones, and tablets.

What ideas do you have about using these websites and apps in your classroom? Please leave a comment.

Image Source: http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7256/7118787133_f8762b2516.jpg

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