Assessment tools achieve assessment rules in assessment schools. Wisely choose or be an assessment fool. But what does an educator pick to be ‘assessment cool’?
Assessment Thoughts… and Kahoot
The ECI833 class came to a general acceptance and list of many digital assessment tools that are best used formatively. A large part of my experience with assessment tools, albeit limited, reinforced this belief. I had used Kahoot several times this year with my students but found that if students didn’t have their own device, or some had slower connections than others, it led to a misrepresentation of student understanding and has the potential to leave a small minority of students frustrated. Students may not be as successful with a timer (as I’ve used), and some get so caught up in the competition they will go with a speedy response rather than a calculated one for a chance to be in the coveted “top 5”. Therefore, formative, at best. (Kids love it though, just like in Heidi’s class, lots of excitement throughout the high school with grades nine-twelve finding enjoyment from it). I know that you can shut off the timer in Kahoot, but that takes some of the fun out of the activity for some of the students. In order to try and find a solution to the formative problems, I decided to look into the highly-touted Socrative.
Socrative is “your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement. No matter where or how you teach, Socrative allows you to instantly connect with students as learning happens.”
So how does it work?
Email to login? Done.
Click on create quiz? Done.
Created a question? Done (see picture below).
Share account ID with a student? Done.
Student finishes quiz, I can see immediate feedback.
Pros – accessibility and very straightforward.
The biggest challenge was figuring out what the heck Space Race was. Fortunately, like mentioned above, that too was very easy to fire up and use. Upon using “Space Race”, it appears I’ll be able to scratch the competitive itch for my students that may be done by Kahoot as well. If students didn’t not have availability to a device, this may not be as useful, but they do, so no worries!
Visually, it is far more professional-looking than Kahoot (no offence meant). For my senior science courses, considering a digital alternative (formative or summative) to paper quizzing, I have every intention of using it. Like any program, there is an incentive to spending money to widen its capabilities (for myself, only $30/year), but the free features are more than enough. You can use images, much like in Kahoot for the question process or combine images with questions.
Why digital assessment?
I avoided the thought entirely of whether or not digital assessment is wise in the classroom. I’ve historically used paper and reading body language for assessing student understanding, and justified it by stating that it “will prepare them for post-secondary”. But not only is post-secondary transitioning in assessment, but some students may not even pursue it. Therefore, maximizing engagement in the school including the assessment practice is likely the most student-oriented approach. Not to mention that these apps also minimize my marking workload with exports to excel and instant data recording.
So what more is there to say? It appears to be the next direction I head for assessment in the classroom. I have anticipated student reaction, but have yet to experience it, only time will tell. Unless, dear readers, you provide me with feedback on your experiences! What is your preferred digital assessment tool? Do you think there is still a place for paper and pen assessment as well? Or should we complete a transition to full digital assessment for the sake of engagement?
– Logan Petlak