“Formative Assessments are the way a classroom teacher can check to make sure everyone arrives at the destination of learning.”
Teaching methodology is a significant part of the education system that needs to be reformed time and again in order to cater to the increasing demands of the K-12 curriculum. To avoid stagnation in the methods of imparting knowledge, formative assessments are conducted to elicit, interpret and derive the evidence from student performance to inculcate changes in the instruction and learning techniques. Formative assessments are an integral component of effective classroom learning, serving the purpose of being an operative teaching tool unlike summative tests that are used as accountability metric.
Some of the basic characteristics of formative assessments are:
- – Illustrating and sharing the learning objectives.
- – Evaluate learning while it is developing.
- – Inaugurate productive classroom discussions and delivering consistent feedback.
- – Encouraging students to become the drivers of their own learning and instructional resources.
In 1998, Black and William conducted a research on formative assessment in which they synthesized over 250 publications by age groups ranging from 5 year olds to undergraduates, spread across several schools and several countries. This research concluded that formative assessment is indeed the most effective strategy to improve academic achievements. Being a critical element in gaining insight into student progress, highlighting the areas of lag and refining the methods of teaching, formative assessments are a useful tool for teachers to personalize learning and improve it for the betterment of their students.
As goes the line by Grant Wiggins,
“Learners need endless feedback more than they need endless teaching.”
Formative assessment is an ideal method to cater the demand of providing endless feedback but doing so with a manual procedure can be tedious. This is where technology surpasses the limitations assigned by standard methods and take over the assessment procedure in a whole new way.
Tech Tools Empowering Teachers
How technology tools are serving to the needs of teachers as well as students in the process of formative assessments?
Technology enhanced learning opens the door to unlimited possibilities for both teachers and students. It is an ideal way to increase productivity and maintain the authenticity of the approach towards assessing the instruction and learning techniques. The main tech tools used for the purpose of conducting impactful formative assessments are online quiz builder and different types of online quiz maker tool for teachers that are specially designed to support and enhance the quality of formative assessments. They can be molded according to the specific needs in order to attain following advantages:
- – Provide altered support modes to each student
- – Understand the areas of strength and weaknesses
- – Personalize instructions to meet the need of every student
Collecting the student’s response in real time with the help of tech tools, teachers are better able to provide instant altered support modes to each student. It is not necessary that every student is following the same pace while gaining knowledge, hence altering the support modes to suit the convenience of a student is where the teacher excels in terms of effective teaching.
Tech tools assist the teachers in pointing out the areas of strength and weakness for each student which enables the teacher to identify the ways in which the teaching practice can be revised and modified accordingly. Catering to such diverse needs in a classroom setting, manual approach can ruin the concerns of a teacher and can affect the efficiency of the strategy applied. With the integration of easy to use online quiz tool into formative assessments, teachers can align their teaching methods that are in balance with the needs of the knowledge seekers.
Identifying the right tech-friendly tool to carry on with the process of formative assessments is a critical point for teachers. With numerous options accessible for teachers it can be an intimidating task to pick a right one that suits your needs. Variety of factors needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on a tech tool to implement on your students. Age and Ability of your students should be the first concern while planning to use a technology tool.
Elementary students are more capable of showing what they know through their actions unlike older students who can answer to quiz questions and can write responses to the questions. Whatever the technology tool you decide upon should depend on the objectives as well as characteristics of the classroom, such as quantity of work and comprised students.