It was a rewarding experience collaborating with Dalton and Matt on our assessment technology presentation. As the three of us teach in a 1:1 environment with Regina Catholic, it was a positive experience to work with people that are very like-minded and use a variety of educational tools in their classroom. There are so many tools out there that can accomplish many of the same things and these two were highly skilled using a few of these tools. Even though I’ve been using a good amount of technology for over five years, it’s good to hear varying perspectives and beliefs about educational technology.
In addition, the paid versus premium versions of tools also create a variety of challenges and decisions for teachers to make. Throughout the entire process of preparing for our presentation, I only focused on using the free versions of all the tools I was diving into. In my opinion, teachers spend enough money out of their own pocket to ensure their classroom is properly prepared, decorated, and connected to the latest technologies. Although I pay for a few tools in my classroom, I try to stick to the tools and resources that are free or supported by my school division.
Lastly, we had a great time exploring some of then “traditional” methods of assessment that many of us still use in the classroom. Although these have been around for many years, many of them provide good data and assessment for teachers. Take a quick peak at Mr. Danaher’s classroom and his use of assessment methods.
When using any type of digital assessment tool, I think it’s important to identify the pros and cons when picking a tool. My group and I analyzed Go Formative and determined these to be some of the major pros and cons.
- Free features allows the teacher to create six different types of assessment questions (Multiple Choice, T/F, Multiple Selection, Essay, Short Answer, and Show your Work).
- Questions will mark themselves, giving students immediate feedback and teachers time to support students in need.
- Teachers have the ability to see student responses in real time. Data is shown in a way that it’s easy to recognize the students who are struggling and need extra support.
- The assessment does not have a time limit which alleviates pressure and anxiety in students.
- Sign up is very easy and student don’t need an email address to create an account.
- Free version does not allow teachers to share and collaborate with other teachers on an assessment.
- Individualized assessment tool doesn’t allow students to collaborate or work with others.
- There are no options for audio or video responses to question on the free version. This limits student choice.
- When creating a question, the only media a teacher can attach is an image.
Setup & Account Creation
When setting up a Formative account, the process is relatively smooth and straightforward. Some of the things I like about the setup and creation include:
- Students can create an account via Google, Clever, or through a Microsoft account.
- If students do not have an email, the teacher can still create them an account with a unique and simple username (Ex: Matt833). This process is very quick and I created an account for our entire ECI class in about 10 minutes.
- The teacher can direct students to the join page and they can find the class with a join code.
As I’ve been using Formative for a few years now, I have become pretty comfortable and confident while using this tool. It’s been a fairly positive experience overall and I continue to use this in my classroom. Some general thoughts include:
- Creating questions in Formative is very easy to complete. Unfortunately, the free version limits the types of questions you can use in your assessment. As you can see below, there are many additional question options when using the premium version (See stars).
- Real time data provides teachers with a great visual on how their students are doing on any assessment. This allows teachers to provide support, feedback, and the ability to intervene when necessary.
- Teachers have the ability to change some setting on terms of what feedback is given to students. You can control when the scored are returned, when the correct answers are returned, and also whether students can edit the Formative after it’s been completed.
Formative or Summative Assessment?
I think that this tool can be used for both formative and assessment data in the classroom. This tool can easily be used as a pre-assessment or to gauge the general knowledge of your students. Also, the real time data allows teachers to pivot or intervene when it is necessary. But on the flipside, this tool can be used to wrap up a unit in math or science. A teacher could easily duplicate an assessment traditionally completed on paper through this digital tools. I believe it really comes down to how and when you are going to use the assessment data. In my personal experience, I have definitely used this tool for both formative and summative assessment.
To conclude, I would definitely recommend this tool for teachers looking to gather assessment data through a digital source. This tool provides enough options through the free version to make it worth your time. In addition, it will also free up some of your time so you can focus on the other 100 things on your plate!