Assessment Technology- Week 3

“No matter which tools you select, make time to do your own reflection to ensure that you’re only assessing the content and not getting lost in the assessment fog. If a tool is too complicated, is not reliable or accessible, or takes up a disproportionate amount of time, it’s OK to put it aside and try something different.”

(Thomas, 2019)

The polls are in:

The majority of classmates seem to be familiar with assessment technologies and have used them within their classrooms. The global pandemic forced us to have to learn to assess student learning remotely. This gave educators time to explore some of these tools and apply them in their teaching. I wonder what these graphs would’ve looked like prior to the pandemic.

There is a wide variety of assessment tools online. My current classmates and some former classmates contributed to the following lists of assessment technologies.

Check out the threads below!

Clearly there are a lot of online tools that can be used for assessment. During remote teaching I used Seesaw. Seesaw provides many ways for students to display knowledge. Students can write, take pictures, videos, draw, etc. to show learning. Teaching primary grades I tried to keep things consistent and simple. Over Zoom I used strategies addressed in Thomas’s (2019) article, 7 Smart, Fast Ways to do Formative Assessment such as thumbs up, down, emojis, whiteboards, check-ins, and discussions. I found it difficult flipping back and forth to in-person and online and trying to get an accurate gage of learning when not all students participated online.

Throughout my career I have to admit assessment has not been my strong suit or a part of my job I particularly enjoy. I have felt like I can get a good read on students learning by observing, doing check ins, small group instruction, and discussions. I rarely have given a formal test or only marked a worksheet to fully understand their knowledge. As a student I would become very anxious when I had a test and often completely blank. I knew the content but tests were not a good way to be able to display my learning. Becoming a teacher I knew that was not a way I wanted to assess kids. Teaching primary kids I can get away with not giving out tests and being able to prove students knowledge without a worksheet. These assessment technologies create fun ways to show learning. I think I would’ve thrived as a kid using some of the tools above.

My teaching practice now when it comes to assessment would mostly exhibit the constructivism learning theory and some cognitivism. Prior to the pandemic I hadn’t used any online assessment tools to formally assess students. I use Razkids in my classroom which tells me a lot about my readers but I don’t take it as super accurate because many students are more excited about getting ‘stars’ than making sure they are answering the comprehension questions correctly. Moving forward into next year I think about implementing assessment technologies into my classroom but feel there are a few barriers. Access to devices at school and home are limited. I wouldn’t be able to accurately assess student learning. Not all students would participate. The only way I could is if students took turns on my six classroom iPads. In person it just seems easier to be able to walk around and assess without technology. If I was teaching online, I would definitely use all the great tools discussed on Monday. I cannot see myself using many within my classroom. But I am open to trying some as I have throughout this past year. My school board is changing to a new LMS so I will not be able to use Seesaw anymore. Within the LMS there may be ways to do online assessment but I know it will take time to get all students and families connected and familiar to a new tool.

I have never received professional development around assessment technologies. I have received PD around certain assessments that I do in my classroom. In my career there have been changes to mandatory assessments. I used to have to do an assessment for grade two math that no longer happens. I do formal reading assessments at the beginning and end of the school year. Having knowledge around assessment technologies is a great bonus but I am not certain I will be using any this year. But like the pandemic you never know what could change and come. There are many advantages and disadvantages.

Thank you for reading!

Christina

Published by christinapatt13

I am a grade 2/3 teacher in Regina, Sask. "The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

5 thoughts on “Assessment Technology- Week 3

  1. Christina,

    What a great response! I also think about the responses educators may have had prior to the pandemic. It certainly forced those who were not tech-savvy to certainly learn, and learn in a hurry. You mentioned Raz-Kids; what grade level would you recommend this to? I have heard nothing but good things, but I have never used it. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Hi Christina,
    I enjoyed and share many of the same sentiments as you regarding assessment and assessment technology. When in the classroom I never particularly enjoyed the assessment piece, especially assessment that was summative in nature. Often times I viewed it as an unnecessary waste, feeling that it would be a better use of time to continue teaching in learning. Like you, I felt I could learn more about my students from a small group literacy center than any standardized assessment would tell me. I remember when “best practice” was essentially teaching the students the lingo that was needed to excel at the RAD assessment – doing so did little to improve students reading, but I along with many colleagues were doing it anyways.
    Lastly, I appreciate your cautious approach to applying assessment tech as you consider the barriers and other shortcomings.

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  3. First off, I think your group did a really great job on your presentation. From explaining theories and how it relates to practice, all the way to showcasing some tools, it was really great! You mentioned several times in your presentation and in your posts about using SeeSaw. How do you feel about SeeSaw being more or less replaced by EDSBY? Are you upset that you have spent a ton of time and made resources, etc. for it, and then are moving to something else? Or are you embracing the change and hopefully transitioning some of your resources to the new platform? I am curious, as a lot of teachers at my school are upset with the shift for the main reason that they had to use SeeSaw, became familiar and made resources, etc. and now feel like they are onto something new again. I didn’t have to use SeeSaw at all, so I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other. Just curious, that’s all!

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  4. I don’t know much about EDSBY, but it seems like it has some integration with MSS to make things more user-friendly for the teacher. It it somewhat frustrating from a professional perspective to switch software every few years. Hopefully with MSS being standard cross the province it will be something that we’ll sink more PD time and money into. Right now it has features very similar to Teacher Logic, which is what we had used in the past, but that was an intentional thing so that teacher wouldn’t be overwhelmed by too much change all at once.

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