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Formative Assessment is something we all do daily to ensure that we structure tomorrow's lesson to include new content, but to also reinforce whatever wasn't grasped 100% by students during today's lesson. However, have you considered that sometimes you could do that formative assessment using a digital tool that would also give you:

  • specific feedback on your lesson (if a high percentage of the class got a question wrong, you may need to find a different way of presenting the key information tomorrow)
  • detailed information on exactly who in your class needs more support on the concepts covered today (if only a handful of students got the question wrong, perhaps targeted instruction to those few would be a better route, rather than taking the entire class through the whole lesson)
  • information about the effectiveness of your question wording (if many got the question wrong, was your instruction the issue, or was the wording of the question misleading? Will that affect how you word questions in summative assessments later in the unit?)

Derek Groves and Jenn Matt at Medicine Hat High School both use Google Forms daily as a means to get constant formative feedback from their students on whatever was covered in the day's lesson. Both teachers use the information in the analytics from the quizzes to reflect on what they need to do the next day. It means they have data that informs their following lessons, rather than a hunch or other means of deciding what they need to review, what they need to reteach, and to whom they need to do that.

Derek likes how Forms allow him to instantly see what students are/aren't understanding, and because he does these "quizzes" daily and students see his instruction changing based on what they did/didn't "get," students become more willing to do the quizzes. Jenn offers students to option to do some assessments more than once. Leaving these assessments open for students to do multiple times means she feels students master the ability to do test-like questions better, and with less stress involved. Both feel that it is important to know exactly which students need more support since they didn't master whatever was covered yesterday. They also agree that doing low-stake "quizzes" like these mean students perform better and with less stress on higher-stake summative assessments, and it increases their willingness to complete both.

Both teachers have some suggestions and warnings. Jenn says it takes time, effort and specific classroom structuring to ensure students take your "quizzes" effectively, but that it's definitely worth it, since it makes them better digital citizens. Derek warns that it does take time upfront to build your quizzes, but he also feels that this front-loaded work saves you time later in the year/semester/subsequent years, because once built, these quizzes self-mark, meaning you can focus on the data and how it affects your teaching, rather than spending all of your time marking repetitive exit slips or quizzes.

Want some more MHPSD teacher hints/suggestions to help you decide if Google Forms might be a fit for you? Check out Derek's and Jenn’s full responses and recommendations.

Wonder if creating Google Forms to do some quick, easy Formative Assessments is something you want to try? Contact the Ed Techs or your OLC to have some help getting started! If you prefer learning independently, visit our Google Features teacher training page with four videos on the creation of Google Forms that should help you with your first builds. Tech Tidbits 5-8 focus on the various ways to build Forms, while other videos on that page will be helpful with getting the Forms to your students using Google Classroom or Google Sites (TTBs 3, 27 and 28). Finally, click on the links provided on the Google Features teacher training page to see other YouTube training videos. If you need the ability to add complex Math equations and Science formulas as part of your questions/answers, see how EquatIO (TTB15) can help, once you get your one-year free teacher full subscription (installation and sign-up links are below the EquatIO video on that page).