EDTC 6103 Designing Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

This week’s assignment excited me, looking at formative assessment tools.  This year I am part of a team from my school, that is participating in a district wide training on how to strengthen formative assessments in our building.  I’ve been feeling the progress is slow, and although it’s a two year project, I feel I haven’t really gained any new insight this year.  However, with this task of looking closely at ISTE Teacher Standard 2, I felt compelled to find tools that will help my team. This led to my quest:

How can I support a grade level team with formative assessment tools?  What tools are user friendly, allow teachers to collaborate, share resources, and provide direction for reteaching?  Better yet, which of these are free?

Initially I perused several articles, and noticed 3 resources in particular that were mentioned: Kahoots, Socrative, and Plickers. Inspired by an article from Edutopia, .  The article, 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools, mentions Socrative, Kahoots, Plickers, and Zaption (which can now be replaced by EdPuzzle, another resource I’ve been wanting to test out). In the audio, Richard Byrne, a teacher from Maine, discusses strengths found in the various resources.

Another resource that had a wealth of information comes from a NWEA blogpost. This post shares 55 digital tools and apps recommended for Formative Assessments.  Again, mentioning the tools above, but also introducing GoFormative, which I’d love to try when I have access to devices again.

So how do these resources compare?  Looking closely at ISTE Standard 2.a and 2.d, I want to adapt our current practices to incorporate digital tools for assessment and help inform student learning and our teaching. I’m also looking for tools that do not require student email logins and are free to educators. 


I’ll begin with Plickers.  Plickers stood out to me for three reasons. First,  it uses a code, in place of English words, which I think is beneficial for ELL students and anonymity in general. Second, a teacher in my building recently started using Plickers and I know I can see it in action.  And lastly, since are computers are all tied up with testing for the next 6 weeks, Plickers seems like a great non-device formative assessment tool! Plickers is great for schools who do not have easy access to devices (like my school).  With the simplicity of my cell phone, a document camera, and one computer, I can pose questions on the screen and students hold up their individual card to share their response.  My phone then scans their cards giving me instant feedback.  This is great for teachers who want a quick response. Within a minute, I can have all students answers and the ability to keep their data for later.  Students do not need to write, are not able to read their peers responses, and these responses can immediately inform teachers on where to go next.  Data is stored in reports that can be downloaded into an Excel document.  Two drawbacks are that the program only allows multiple choice or true false options and there is not a shared databank of content for teachers to pull from.


Moving on to Kahoot, this is a fun way to excite students about quick checks.  Similar to Plickers, it only allows multiple choice or true false options.  It also exports data into Excel in a user friendly format. Where Plickers lacks shared resources, Kahoot lets you access a large databank of resources.  In order to use Kahoot teachers will need a document camera to display the questions and multiple devices for student access.  Students input their own name which requires teacher monitoring to enable teachers to use data later on.  It gamifies formative assessment by rewarding points based on correct response and response time.  Having tested this with my students, they absolutely loved it!  This is a great tool for quick checks, review before a test, or even pre-assessment.

Go Formative

Having just touched the surface on how to use Go Formative, this tool seems to most versatile for a free platform. Teachers can upload content in a variety of ways, and also allow students to answer using multiple choice, short answer, true/false, or draw their response.  Their reports are comparable to Plickers and Kahoot.  

Wishful Thinking

The one resource I’d love to push for my grade level team however is MasteryConnect. Sadly, this program has limited free access, but has the tools I am looking for in regards to team planning, collaboration, and reteaching. Looking at the review on EdSurge, I felt this is something my school lacks and is similar to a successful tool we used at my previous school several years ago.  I also like how Socrative can be linked to MasteryConnect, but again, Socrative is not free for teachers either.

In conclusion, I feel I have several resources I’d like to take to my team and discuss how we can simplify our teaching by utilizing tools that allow instant grading and excel to compare data.  My goal is to not reinvent the wheel, but find ways to work smarter, not harder.

Resources –

Edutopia. (2014). Tech2Learn: Success Stories of Technology Integration in the Classroom. Retrieved from www.edutopia.org. (includes… https://www.edutopia.org/blog/blended-learning-working-one-ipad

Johnson, K. (2016). Resources to Help You Choose the Digital Tools Your Classroom Needs. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-03-15-resources-to-help-you-choose-the-digital-tools-your-classroom-needs

Davis, V.(2015, January 15). 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools. Retrieved April 23, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-vicki-davis

Take Three! 55 Digital Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success. (2016, June 07). Retrieved April 23, 2017, from https://www.nwea.org/blog/2016/take-three-55-digital-tools-and-apps-for-formative-assessment-success/

Zdonek, P. (2016, September 26). Putting the FORM in Formative Assessment. Retrieved April 23, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/putting-form-in-formative-assessment-pauline-zdonek

MasteryConnect (Product Reviews on EdSurge). (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2017, from https://www.edsurge.com/product-reviews/masteryconnect

Comments are closed.