“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!