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Jeff Bradbury

Formative Assessment: 3 Amazing Tools For The Classroom

Formative Assessment Tools for the classroom - TeacherCast Guest Blog

As teachers, our jobs demand us to fulfill so many roles simultaneously. We need to be able to deliver well-prepared and meaningful content. We need to create a welcoming environment in which all students feel safe and secure. We need to engage all of our students – every last one. And we need to be able to assess our effectiveness AND student learning all at the same time.

We need to create a welcoming environment in which all students feel safe and secure. We need to engage all of our students – every last one.

Today’s teacher values technology for what it can do in the classroom. I know when I was first handed devices to use with every single one of my students, it was a game-changer for me. Suddenly, I could access every child in my classroom with a wide variety of assessment and engagement tools. I could get inside the head of every single answer. Even better – I didn’t have to wait to call on one kid, get their response, call on another, move on while all the time wondering if the student in the corner who hasn’t raised his hand all year actually has learned any of my material!

As a technology coach, I see a wide-range use of such tools and today I want to focus on three popular assessment tools: Kahoot, Quizizz and Quizlet Live.

Kahoot

Who runs it?

The teacher is in control of every question.

How do you play it?

A game is displayed. Students sign in with a code. The question and answers are displayed on the main board for the entire class to see, while participants only see the symbols aligned with their answer.

How do teachers get to it?

How do students get to it?

How do I get material?

You can duplicate an existing quiz from the gallery and edit to your liking, or you can create from scratch.

Awesome features

Kahoot can be played individually or it can be played in teams. When activating team mode, groups of students (chosen by teacher or students, not by Kahoot) use a single device. Points are awarded for being correct and for being the fastest respondent. Ghost mode enables a class to play again against their first score, or allows for competition between classes. The newest feature, found in experimental mode, allows students to earn bonus points for streaks of correct answers.

Bottom line:

Kahoot is a fast-paced, teacher-run game. Students enjoy the level of competition brought to the classroom and it is an easy, popular tool. Engagement with Kahoot can be very easy.

However, you must think about your classroom setup as all students MUST be able to see the leaderboard. You also have to think about the authenticity of student input at times, as students can copy each other due to the large visibility of the answers on your own screen and sometimes students misclick due to a lack of transfer between the answers on the board and the symbols on the device. The newest feature, streaking, brings a higher level of engagement into the game as all players retain a chance of winning.

@getkahoot is a fun and exciting classroom activity for students of all ages. Check out this great post on @TeacherCast today and learn more. Click To Tweet

What is Kahoot best suited for?

Kahoot is a fantastic intro to a unit or as an assessment right before a test. Questions are multiple choice and the fast-pacing and teacher-led environment is great for quick, surface-level assessment. You do not see everyone’s individual scores or a progress indicator during gameplay other than the top five on the leaderboard, so from the assessment standpoint, I think it lends itself most to a surface level, quick review.


Quizizz

Who runs it?

Teacher launches the game, but students pace themselves through it. It can also be set up to be played by individuals as homework.

How do you play it?

A game is displayed. Students sign in with a code.

How do teachers get to it?

How do students get to it?

How do I get material?

As with Kahoot, you can duplicate an existing quiz from the gallery and edit to your liking, or you can create from scratch. One extra feature of Quizizz is the ability to search the gallery for one question at a time. This allows for higher customization of your quiz experience.

Awesome features

Like Kahoot, students are awarded points for being correct and the fastest respondent. Unlike Kahoot, students have all of the information on their own device and are able to move through at their own pace. Student-led pacing in Kahoot opens up a wider range of tasks you can perform such as working out math problems or reading short passages. Homework mode allows you to implement it on an as-needed basis, such as when a student has finished a task and is ready to move on. The memes that are displayed in between are highly motivating and engaging. From the teacher standpoint, you have a leaderboard that is visible to you (which you can choose to display or not) and you have data in a few ways on this leaderboard. You can see the individual student how far in the game they are and with the red and green indicators, you can see how well they are doing during gameplay. You also see each question and besides it, you can see how many have correctly answered, how many have incorrectly answered, and how many have not attempted. With Quizizz, you can also insert special characters such as greek lettering and mathematics symbols. You can use color to make a word stand out or to place emphasis on a part of your question.  A final nice feature is the reports section in which you get specific feedback for every player without leaving the dashboard.

Bottom line:

Quizizz is a more in-depth assessment tool, given that all questions and answers are displayed right on the students’ devices. This is a blessing to those students who struggle with processing information. Diagnostic measures available to teachers are ultra-specific; you can go into the reporting student by student and find out not only their correct/incorrect answers but their actual inputted answers as well. This is a powerful assessment tool.

@quizizz is a fun and exciting classroom activity for students of all ages. Check out this great post on @TeacherCast today and learn more. Click To Tweet

What is Quizizz best suited for?

Due to the wider range of assessment opportunities, Quizizz allies itself with more in-depth assessment opportunities. Consider using it all along your unit or section of studying as a way to really check in and assessing student learning. Assigning independently using the homework feature also allows students to consume your curriculum at an appropriate pace.


Quizlet Live!

Who runs it?

Teacher launches the game and students play in teams generated by the game.

How do you play it?

A game is displayed. Students sign in with a code.Students are generated into groups by the machine. The teacher has the ability to “refresh” the groups for a new combination of students. Students each need their own device. Students gather with their teammates and gameplay begins. Sitting next to your teammates is essential; each player gets a word bank of the correct answers, so you must collaborate with and discuss the correct answer with your team. The first team to get a total of 12 correct wins.

How do teachers get to it?

How do students get to it?

How do I get material?

Your game is based on flashcards that you either create or duplicate. Choose a set and launch Quizlet Live!

Awesome features 

The ability to refresh and change teams is a great plus from a management standpoint. Team mode is a true collaborative experience based on the way answers are presented to teams.

Bottom line

Quizlet live is a great engagement tool because all students must be active in the playing process. Incorrect answers are displayed immediately for student feedback.

@quizlet is a fun and exciting classroom activity for students of all ages. Check out this great post on @TeacherCast today and learn more. Click To Tweet

What is Quizlet Live best suited for?

It is an easy-to-use tool that is well-suited to knowledge, recall, and memory questions as it is collaborative and fast-paced. It is also great for scaffolding as engagement in teams is fully necessary for success in the game. Students will love the element of competition and teachers will love the enthusiasm and engagement!

Final Thoughts:

Management of classrooms and their technology use is essential, especially for any gamification methods. You must plan ahead for such things as student seating, leaderboard access and the conventions of signing in. All three work well at engaging students and all three definitely have a home in the classroom. Give one a try today – your students will thank you!

 

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