In my exploration of ISTE Teaching Standard 2 this week, I am looking to explore the different digital tools that are out there for formative and summative assessments. It is important to find something that will not take more time for grading and allow for real-time feedback for the students. The article from Edutopia’s Teaching for Meaningful Learning about how assessments matter is summarized well with this one line “for assessments to serve the critical functions, they must be grounded in a conception of learning as developmental and in a belief that all students will learn from experience and feedback, rather than being constrained by innate ability. It is also important to remember that the most effective performance assessments are part of a related set of practices that include the integration of assessment and instruction, systematic use of iterative cycles of reflection and action, and ongoing opportunity for students to improve their work” (Barron & Darling Hammond, 2007). Establishing that assessments matter is not really the argument but sometimes I require a reminder why we spend so much time on them. Then I took a look at a recent online piece which was done by McGraw-Hill Education the giant textbook and curriculum publisher. It is one part of a series about assessment implementation and in this section “Assessment Optimization #4: Analyze Results and Use them to Inform” McGraw-Hill staff writes that the “insights gleaned from assessments can be used at three levels: by the digital assessment program itself, by the instructor, and by the administrator. With each use, the adjustments made will address the needs of a wider student population — from the individual learner to the class, to the entire school or district” (2017). Purposeful and insightful assessments can help personalize learning and adapt exams for each student’s abilities and needs. It also informs teachers and administrators. McGraw-Hill is pushing their assessment solution tool Engrade but I thought instead I would explore a tool that my district is pushing to its staff to use, Formative. Formative is a digital web-based machine that allows teachers/instructors to create assessments be it formative or summative. I think it can be a lot like Kahoot but a bit more official and useful for teachers.Click to view slideshow.
Formative lets teachers create assessments, deliver them to students, receive results, and provide individualized feedback in real-time. Teachers can use the platform to create new assessments for their students from scratch, or they can upload pre-existing documents and transform them into paperless assignments. Accounts are free for teachers and students. Teachers can set up new accounts through a link on the company website. Then they can enroll students in one of two ways: 1) Give students a class code and asking them to self-enroll through the company website or 2) Fill out a spreadsheet with student roster information and email the spreadsheet to a company representative. Students can use any Internet-connected device to complete their assignments, and their responses are immediately sent to the teacher. Teachers can grade assignments manually or automatically and then send students individualized feedback. The Teacher Dashboard also provides real-time analytics that teachers can use to track student growth across standards.
Lastly, my favorite tool to use for ELA summative writing assessments is Turnitin.com. This tool use has helped me truly prepare my students for the next step in education. I cannot think of a legitimate higher education institution that does not implement a machine like this to help ward off plagiarism. If we do not start the students using it early on then we are doing them a disservice. So It prevents plagiarism and engages students with its ease of use and instant feedback. Originality Check like everything else in today’s digital culture, plagiarism is moving online. Turnitin’s Originality Check helps instructors check students’ work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against the world’s most accurate text comparison database. GradeMark allows for paperless grading. GradeMark saves instructors time and provides richer feedback to students by enabling editorial highlights, custom comments, and QuickMark editing marks directly on the student papers. In the image below you can see a couple of screens that I use to grade my students work. It also keeps all my student’s work from the past year in one place. I do not lug around large piles of paper every break I just pack my laptop and that is all I need. Plus, when I finish a paper I can instantly email that student and let them know that they can take a look at their grade. This gives them real-time feedback and more time to consider redoing the assignment for a better grade. I love the fact that I can create my own rubrics with the district’s curriculum but then use Turnitin.com’s Rubric Manager and put it into the system. It is saved so I can update it and then use it later.Click to view slideshow.
Barron, Dr. Brigid, and Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. “Teaching for Meaningful Learning: A Review of Research on Inquiry-Based and Cooperative Learning.” TeachING for Meaningful Learning A Review of Research. Edutopia, 2007. Web. 12 Apr. 2017. Retrieved From http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-teaching-for-meaningful-learning.pdf
Education, McGraw-Hill. “[Series] Assessment Optimization #4: Analyze Results and Use Them to Inform.” Medium. Inspired Ideas, 29 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.