Guest Blog Post by Diana Clark

Formative assessment is a critical tool for educators. It helps identify concepts that students are struggling with so that future instruction can be adapted to their individual needs. Fortunately, there are several new technology-based tools that make formative assessment more efficient and effective.

  1. PlayPosit

This is one of the most popular tools for using video in formative assessment. What I liked the most about PlayPosit is that can provide deep engagement of the learners with interactive lessons and test several learning aspects at the same time. Also, I found it easy to understand student learning using this tool, as it provides all relevant stats regarding their performance.

Other awesome features of PlayPosit include easy sharing of the data, a rich database of lessons (300,000+), and interactive questions. Together, they ensure that the results of your formative assessment are comprehensive and individualized.

  1. Socrative

Have you ever used instant polling for formative assessment? If you haven’t, try Socrative. This instant polling tool will change your perception of this method in assessing student performance. It works as follows: you create an assignment, assign it to students, receive live results, and give feedback after all assignments are completed. As the result, thanks to new technologies and tasks created by yourself, you will get deeper insights into your classroom.

Another good news is that the tool is compatible with any device connected to the Internet and is optimized for any blended and flipped classroom. So, if you are using these innovational strategies in your class, Socrative is perfect for you.

  1. The Answer Pad

This one is perfect for math class. For the assessment, the students are given an individual task that needs to be completed on a blank page (on the screen), so you can personalize the assignment to tailor the learning needs. Also, The Answer Pad combines formative and summative assessment tools to give you an even more comprehensive feedback about student performance.

What I also liked about this one is that it had an easy-to-use interface that lets students interact more with the content. This means that it could be used in different classes.

  1. Kahoot

I have always appreciated competitive fun and games in learning, so I was glad to discover Kahoot to extend these teaching principles for assessment. It allows the teacher to create a fun learning game using a series of multiple choice questions and other assignments. This game is further added with images, videos, diagrams, and other aids to amplify the engagement of the class.

To assess the knowledge of your class, you may create several groups of children. Suspenseful music, instant scores, and quick pace of the assignment will ensure that learners are properly engaged.

  1. College Papers

Do you need an instant feedback on writing? This tool is the one you’re looking for. For example, if a written assignment is given to students, you can use this tool to verify various aspects of their writing, such as grammar, punctuation, word selection, mechanics, structure, and so on. Moreover, College Papers will provide the information on improving the results of the students who struggle with writing essays and other written tasks.

  1. Plickers

I included Plickers in the list because it doesn’t require a lot of resources for the formative assessment. It is a simple yet powerful tool that allows gathering real-time formative assessment data without the need to provide students with any devices (In fact, only one device is required for the teacher). Instead, they utilize special paper cards to answer multiple choice questions.

The Standard Plickers Card Set is totally free – use it to test the effectiveness of the tool.

  1. Quick Key

This one is similar to Plickers because it is also a mobile grading app that features free printable answer sheets and enables teachers to grade formative assessments from their mobile device (tablet or smartphone, works with Android and iOS). If you’re a fan of instant feedback on the assessment, consider using this tool, which, by the way, was developed by an English teacher with 15 years of experience.

As the result, identifying the students and subjects that needed to be re-taught before moving on to the next ones.

  1. NearPod

Are you up for award-winning apps for formative assessment? With NearPod, you will have an opportunity to create interactive assessments using multimedia. It works as follows: a teacher creates the assessment and downloads it from the website of the app, then the file is shared in the class, and the students interact and submit their responses. Finally, the teacher monitors and measures the results on an individual and aggregate basis.

  1. StoryBoardThat

This is one of the best storyboard creators for teachers I’ve encountered so far. I highly recommend it for assessing the knowledge of literature, since the tool is perfect for studying literary elements, visualizing symbolism, and diagramming narrative structures (for example, check out this example board for Romeo and Juliet). With StoryBoardThat, your assessments are about to become real graphic!

  1. Quizziz

If you think that quizzes are a good tool for formative assessment, check out Quizziz. It allows you to create interactive quiz games for assessment. These games include four options for answers and can be customized in many different ways. I liked the detailed class and student-level reports produced by the tool that enable to understand where they need help, and the fact that all of this is completely free to use!