We all want our students to be successful, right? Fortunately, we have tools that can help us to help them. Formative assessment tools allow us to monitor our students’ learning and then use the information collected in real time to adjust our teaching. It’s a huge win-win for everyone! Formative assessment gives us a window into student understanding of the concepts they are being taught at both the class and individual level so that we as teachers can adjust our instruction to meet their needs.
There are many tools that allow us to gather that information quickly and easily on the spot. Here are 10 of the top assessment tools that you can start using in your classroom today:
Kahoot! is a student response app that’s a class favorite thanks to its lively game-like interface. You simply add your multiple-choice questions on the website, or choose from the already created quizzes, and give your students the game PIN. You can even add videos, images, and diagrams to your questions. Your students will be fully engaged as you present the quiz questions and they race to not only get the answer correct, but get it in first. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to play again!
Nearpod (Free and paid versions available)
Nearpod is a presentation software tool that provides access to students on their individual computers and devices. As you build your Nearpod presentation with content, you can embed open-ended and multiple-choice questions throughout the presentation to check for understanding along the way. The teacher can control the pace of the presentation, or set it up in homework mode to allow students to work through it at their own pace. The teacher dashboard is easy to access and provides all of the analytics and reports you will need.
Padlet (Free and paid versions available)
Padlet is an electronic bulletin board where you and your students can upload documents, text, videos, images, and so much more. Padlet has colorful background options and layouts to help organize content. There are so many ways to use a Padlet wall—it’s the perfect way to allow students a choice in how they demonstrate their knowledge, all collected in one easily accessible place.
Classkick (Free and paid versions available)
Classkick is a great whiteboard-type app that allows the teacher to monitor students’ work in real time. You can create a lesson using any subject area content and simply screen clip right onto the slide, add links, a recording, video, and any needed additional text—then it’s ready for your students! As students work though the lesson on their device, you can see thumbnails of their work, which can be expanded to full screen. Students can raise their virtual hand for assistance from you, or even anonymously from other students, and write on the student screens to assist.
MimioMobile is one of my all-time favorites! You can push out a Mimio lesson page to up to 50 devices simultaneously, and students can work on the lesson page on their device independently or in a small group sharing a device. The best part is that the teacher can see thumbnails of each of the devices in real time and can monitor not only the work, but also the process. Teachers can pull a screen forward, write on student screens to support learning, and share one or more screens with the whole class via the projector. Students love to see their screen(s) displayed as they share with their class.
Recap is a new and different way to not only monitor student learning, but also to build toward it through questioning that taps into student curiosity. It is a Q&A platform where students demonstrate their understanding with a video response. Recap has recently released Recap 2.0, which builds in a process for teachers and students to ask and respond to questions though the “Queue,” engage and learn through the teacher-created “Journey,” and demonstrate their understanding with a video response. Well worth checking out!
Socrative (Free and paid versions available)
Socrative is a quick and easy formative assessment tool. The teacher can use Quick Questions for on-the-fly checking for understanding or create polls, questions (multiple-choice, true/false, and short-answer), exit tickets, and even a fun space race. Results are available in real time through a live results table. Quizzes can also easily be shared with colleagues for use in their classroom.
Only have a teacher device or just want to stay low tech? Then Plickers is just what you’ve been looking for! Add your multiple-choice or true/false questions on the website, select “Live View,” print and pass out the Plickers cards to your students, and you are ready to go. Using your device, you launch the questions—as students hold the card with the correct answer at the top, you scan in the answers around your room with your device for instant results. And just in case you were worried about the students seeing the answers on each other’s cards, the cards are well designed to keep their answers out of site to those around them. Pretty cool!
Whether it’s a trailer or a movie, iMovie is an excellent tool to use to check for understanding. Students capture images or movie clips throughout the process of solving a math problem or completing a hands-on experiment, explaining their thinking along the way. Those images and videos are easily dropped into iMovie and before you know it, you have a finished movie that provides a window into the conceptual understanding and thinking process of your students.
Educreations (Free and paid versions available)
This simple, fun whiteboard app allows students to use the onscreen whiteboard and drawing tools along with the recording feature to demonstrate their understanding. While the student writes or draws on the whiteboard, they simultaneously create an audio recording explaining what they are doing. These videos can be viewed in the teacher dashboard or exported to a shared location—like a Padlet wall—for whole-class viewing.
No matter the tool, assessment can be a key part of the learning process. Do you have a favorite app you use for assessment? Be sure to share it in the comments below! And click here to learn more about our assessment app and how it can help you in your classroom.>>