Technology plays a big role in classrooms as an instructional support or means to enhance the curriculum. As PARCC and MCAS move to online testing, it is even the mode in which students complete their summative assessments. Below are a few ways that technology can play just as big a role in formative assessments:
- Observations: move your observational or anecdotal data from notetaking to short videos. Using a tablet or smartphone, capture students' presentations, turn and talks, class discussions, etc. via video.
- Student work: Want to capture that model, poster, or other cumbersome display of student learning? Take a photo with the smartphone or tablet and save it to a digital student portfolio or as a demonstration of student mastery toward a specific content standard.
- Student surveys: Conducting a beginning of the year student interest inventory? Or a survey of students' learning styles? Google Forms or an online survey platform (most have a free, limited trial) collect and analyze data for you.
- Formative assessments of academic content: And finally, if looking to assess students on a particular skill or content standard, a number of free websites are available. Whether you are looking for a game-like platform to quiz students (Kahoot), ask students multiple choice or limited response questions (Plickers), or one that allows for a range of question types (Socrative), or one in which you could provide visible feedback embedded in student work (Google docs) there are a range of free applications available. With the exception of Google docs, these tools, and others similar to them, allow you to customize questions, collect responses and immediately review data visuals on student responses.