Data has shown that formative assessment is vital to the learning process. It reveals to the learner and the teacher what information has been acquired, and what is still needing to be learned. Teachers have been using a variety of techniques for assessing student learning, but just how accurate have prior strategies been? Fortunately with today's digital tools, making learning visible has become much easier. This also allows teachers to zero in on exactly what gaps exist. It is important to note that formative assessements are to inform the teacher and the student of acquired knowledge, not to punish. These can be used to make learning fun! Kahoot has some great quotes throughout their app that remind us of that! "Make learning awesome!" The Formative App reminds us, "I think, therefore I am. (Cogito, ergo sum.)" Let their little reminds spur you on to engage students in the learning process.
Below is a list of my top 5 favorites:
Padlet: This is a great tool for having students post visual representations of their learning. This is an easy assessment tool and teachers can create and use custom backgrounds to aid in its use as an assessment tool, i.e. formatting a KWL chart as a custom background. Padlet suggests when creating a custom background to set the size to 1280 x 720. Think you may need a little help with getting started with Padlet? Click here for a quick tutorial video.
Google Forms: There are so many options for using Google Forms. I love the ability to insert YouTube video clips, especially in math when a question isn't answered correctly using the "conditional branching" option. Two under-utilized question options in Google Forms are using the scale and grid. These are a great way to survey depth of understanding, confidence in the content or comparing various aspects of it. Click here to watch a tutorial video on Google Forms that will show how to use the conditional branching technique.
Formative: I love this web app! The first time I used it, I was totally taken by the Draw Tool. It has since been updated and works even better. When you create a new assignment you have three a choices, Add A Question, Add Content, and Upload and Transform. Within these there are additional options. My favorite, that sets Formative apart from the other apps, is the ability for students to draw on a whiteboard. This is an amazing tool for a math class, an ELA class for reading comprehension, science and social studies classes for diagrams and labeling. Click here to watch a tutorial video on how to use the Formative app.
Google Classroom: This fall Google Classroom launched several new updates and one of those was the ability to "Create Question". This is a perfect environment to ask an introductory or concluding question to measure understanding, to assess or survey for feedback, or to take a quick poll. Click here to check out a tutorial video on the new Google Classroom updates that just launched this fall of 2015.
Kahoot: What can I say...students LOVE Kahoot! Their motto, Make Learning Awesome, sure describes what this site does! I'm not sure if it's the music, the colors, or all of the above, but any chance you get to use Kahoot...do it! It's great for exit/admit tickets, test prep, polls, and surveys. If you need help getting started with Kahoot, click here for a short tutorial.
Need some ideas for different techniques for formative assessment ? Check out this graphic that briefly describes ten different types of formative assessment. What are your favorite methods/apps for formative assessments in your classroom?