It seems to me that after Thanksgiving sort of signifies an opening of the gates. It means I should have already been doing Christmas shopping! It means I need to get my holiday decorating done. It means I need to be cleaning out and cleaning up. It also means mid-term exams are looming on the horizon for high school and middle school classes. With that in mind, I decided that this would be the first in a few ideas devoted to formative assessment.
You know about formative assessment – checks for understanding. You’ve seen the research data. So, let’s take a look at some formative assessment ideas.
There’s always the exit slip. The teacher poses a quick question and students post a response. Some ideas for a quick exit slip which integrates technology use by students are:
- Set up a Padlet wall.
Questions for a Padlet post could range from the simple – post one fact about… or post the most important concept relating to… or choose a word that begins with the same letter of your name and, in your post, explain how it relates to… or describe the steps of… or well, the limits of the simple exit slip post for Padlet are only limited by your imagination. The beauty of using this technique is that the wall will be available as long as the creator would like to keep it. The information is readily available for planning follow-up lessons or for clarifying for better understanding. Students can post anonymously or a requirement could be that they include their name.
- Pose a Socrative question.
The question could be just those mentioned above for a Padlet post. Pose a question verbally and ask students to post a response. With Socrative, the exit slip could take on the semblance of a quiz as well. Prepared in advance, the teacher could target a few pointed questions to assess specific knowledge and understanding of the class material. The questions can be multiple choice, short-answer, or true/false. Again, the student response could be anonymous or require identification, whichever the teacher would prefer. The responses are readily available by downloading a spreadsheet or the teacher could have the spreadsheet sent to his/her email for later viewing/recording.
- Complete a Google Form.
The questions could be open-ended like those previously mentioned for the Padlet post or could also be more quiz-like either. The versatility of Forms provides the opportunity to formulate many different question types – multiple choice, choose from a list, check-boxes, rank on a scale, short-answer, or paragraph form. If memorization of vocabulary, dates, or terms is important, instant feedback can be provided. If deeper thinking is desired, pose a more open-ended type of query. Using a Google Form, the responder’s email identification can easily be collected which makes it appropriate for pin-pointing exactly who needs remediation or re-teaching. Yet, anonymous responding is also an option.
Each of these options is quick, provides valuable feedback, and encourages reflection by students. Most middle and high school students have some sort of technology readily available and could quickly access either of the options using a mobile device.
When you are needing a quick bit of data to guide your teaching, consider using one of these online exit slips as a collection tool! After all, when we are in the stretch and the clock is ticking, quick, easy, and readily available is always valuable and vital.