Have you ever considered the amount of time it takes to hand out, collect, grade, and analyze formative assessments and then use results to meaningfully plan for daily math lessons? I know this is one of those pieces of teaching that I don’t exactly look forward to. It is exhausting to plan time for exit tickets and then grade them DAILY in order to have information to help guide your next day of instruction. I have been pondering this task for a while now, and it has led me to questioning my methods of formative assessment surrounding math.
Using ISTE Educator Standard 5: Design, and ISTE Educator Standard 7: Analyst, I came up with a guiding question to help lead me on my quest for a digital tool that can help me design, and analyze my students’ formative assessments in a meaningful way, with a quicker pace.
“What digital tools can I use to quickly assess math understanding while also allowing for self-assessment?”
Let’s lead with the standards:
ISTE Standard 5. Designer – Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability. Educators:
5a – Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b – Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
5c – Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
ISTE Standard 7. Analyst – Educators understand and use data to drive their instruction and support students in achieving their learning goals. Educators:
7a – Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.
7b – Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.
7c – Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.
While searching, I found 3 great tools that all serve slightly different purposes.
Edulastic is a great tool that helps give a more formal formative (or summative) assessment. My favorite part of this tool is that it has an abundance of pre-made assessments that are matched to curriculum and standards. My district uses Eureka for math curriculum, and there are pre-loaded tests for every topic, mid-module assessments, and end of module assessments for every grade and every module. Also, the majority of assessments are graded by themselves (the more extended problems have a small piece that need to be graded by the teacher). This tool is wonderful! It even creates color-coded pie charts representing the students who were below standard, near standard, and met standard.
While Edulastic is amazing for more formal assessing matters, it wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for when searching for a tool to help with the day-to-day exit ticket matter… my search continues!
The next tool I wanted to learn more about was Flubaroo. This is a free extension that you add to Chrome. You can create self graded tests made on Google Forms and help formatting for assessments as well. I have had great success with Flubaroo on creating templates for my students, along with creating student info sheets that have been taken by parents on Google Forms and then reformatted to a Google Doc in a more user-friendly model. Flubaroo is a fantastic tool, and I know that the practical uses for education are abundant.
To use Flubaroo, you must have all students (or whomever your users are) complete their Google Form prior to submitting a template and using the Google Sheet data. Looking for more great info on Flubaroo? Here is a how-to link for all things Flubaroo: here. While this may not be a con for your usage, I am looking for a tool that immediately gives me feedback.
I continued to search for a tool that could give me immediate formative assessment data and it led me next to Socrative.
Socrative has a free version and a pro-version. I focused on the free version. On the non-paid version there are 4 main features: Quiz, Space Race, Exit Ticket, and Quick Question.
Using “Quiz” you can either create a new quiz or import a quiz using a shared code that another user has created. These can be organized by folder, and can be as long as you please.
On “Space Race” you can use a quiz, with altered settings, to use on space race. Here is a great video that shows you the steps to launch a space race and then also shows you the student display. Here’s the video:
Next, “Exit Ticket”, which to my knowledge is a pre-formatted set of 3 questions. The first asking how well you understood the material in that day’s lesson. The second asking what you learned, and enabling a short answer response ability. And the last question, “Please answer the teacher’s question”.
The last option, “Quick Question”. Here you can set up a multiple choice, true/false, or short answer response for students. For the free version, it shows you results immediately, however you cannot change the options on the tool (you would have to display it for the students using a different tool, or writing the question and answer on the board).
I am most interested in Socrative for my daily formative assessment tool. I can see myself using the quick question tool throughout the lesson (even outside of a math lesson) to gauge a quick understanding, while using the exit ticket function for students to self assess. I would use that last question opportunity to add a problem to the board for students to solve and respond using Socrative. This would help me to immediately have them give me a rating of understanding for the lesson, a short answer for them to explain in words what they felt they learned about that day, and also an immediate response to a problem.
While Socrative may not be useful for teachers who would like a more in-depth, self grading quiz, or an assessment that has been pre-loaded and matched to standards, it is perfect for a quick check-in with students.
I would love to hear what you use for your formative assessments and quick student assessments! Comment below!
AMLE – Association for Middle Level Education. (n.d.). 8 Digital Formative Assessment Tools to Improve Motivation. Retrieved from https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/675/8-Digital-Formative-Assessment-Tools-to-Improve-Motivation.aspx
Davis, V. (2017, May 8). Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessment Tools. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-vicki-davis
Flubaroo Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from http://www.flubaroo.com/flubaroo-user-guide
Free Formative Assessment Tools for Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from https://edulastic.com/teachers/
K-12. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from https://socrative.com/k-12/
Top Tech Tools for Formative Assessment. (2020, January 30). Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/top-tech-tools-for-formative-assessment