Assessments are a necessary part of any instructional model to gage what students know and what instructors need to focus on. Student assessments can range from creative projects to multiple choice tests, but the objective remains the same. Digital formative assessment tools (DigiFAT) create an engaging and time-saving way to measure student understanding and provide instant feedback to drive instruction and differentiation.
In 2014 Manor High School adopted the assessment tool Socrative into the Campus Improvement Plan as a best practice in student assessment and technology integration. By March 2015 there was 100% compliance with teacher use on campus, with results being shared via Google Drive with campus instructional support and administration. Teachers were trained on several ways to use the tool including warm up and exit ticket activities, group collaboration through the quick question voting feature, and content review using the gamified Space Race option.
Since the focus on Socrative, instructional technology support and innovative teachers have introduced other options on campus. Tools such as Kahoot!, Go Formative, Google Forms, EdPuzzle, Quizlet, Newsela, Skyward Assignments, and Quizizz are now widely used and supported on campus.
In addition to these free options, Manor ISD has also purchased 250 Nearpod premium accounts for use throughout the district. With Nearpod teachers can deliver instructional materials like presentations and videos to student devices with embedded assessment in a direct teach or self-paced fashion. Instructional support has adopted the tool as its district online professional development platform.
While the tools themselves are an engaging and resourceful way to assess students, the data created by them allows teachers to modify instruction on the fly. With instant results, teachers can differentiate by building small groups during class, move through easily understood concepts, and spiral in low performance standards. While these pedagogical approaches are nothing new, the immediacy of the assessment results create an environment where they can happen during instruction, not days later after assessments are graded, scanned, and analyzed.
For more information on digital formative assessments view this DigiFAT presentation from the 2016 AIE Conference, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.