5 Digital Tools you can use for Formative Assessment

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark and provide them with a grade or mark.

photo by athree23
The goal of formative assessment on the other hand, is to monitor student learning and to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. Students can but don't have to be graded for the learning activity.

Constant feedback on student performance is crucial for students to enhance their learning. By reflecting on their learning they become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Good assessment tools can engage students in their learning especially if they are enjoyable instead of stressful. And we all know that if learners are engaged, they become more responsible for their learning.

Formative assessment is an essential part of the learning process and student success, so it is a good idea to be quick, require minimum preparation and deliver immediate results. Many digital tools can help support this process.

1. Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that allows you to create engaging quizzes at the end of class to check for comprehension. You can create your own kahoots, or choose from their library of games. To host a kahoot live in class, you’ll need a big screen so everyone in the classroom can see. Questions and answer alternatives will be displayed on the shared screen, while students answer on their devices. You can play live kahoots, in groups, issue challenges, or assign as homework.

2. Quizizz

Quizizz allows you to conduct student-paced formative assessments in a fun and engaging way for students of all ages. Quizizz works in a similar way like Kahoot!. Its advantage is that questions are displayed on the students' individual screen so you don't need to have a big screen.

3. Mentimeter

Mentimeter gives every student a voice, and stops only the loudest in the class from being heard. You can test your students’ knowledge, gather feedback and ask them to reflect. Students can answer simple questions such as "What did we learn today?" or "How would you apply today's lesson to everyday life?" You can find more ideas here. Your students can answer using their smartphones.

4. Padlet

Padlet is a super easy to way to create an online noticeboard that allows teachers and students to share and collaborate. It works on any device, and you can share just about any type of information–text, links, upload files, photos, videos, just about any kind of response. A simple activity to use with padlet is the 3-2-1- activity: ask students to write

3 things I learned today
2 things I found interesting
1 question I still have

5. Google Forms

Google Forms is a free survey tool you can use to create online surveys and quizzes and send them to your students to answer in class or at home. You can choose from a variety of question types: multiple choice, short answers, checkboxes etc. Google Forms stores the answers to your Form automatically. It saves each response in the “Responses” tab at the top of your form and updates in real-time as people answer questions. If you prefer a more in-depth way to analyze responses from your form, you can generate a new Google Sheet to store and view answers.

If you have used other digital tools for formative assessment don't hesitate to share them in your comments.