Assessment happens in all classes, but that doesn't mean we have to assess the same way every time. Many educators have discovered the benefits of using technological means to gather information about student learning. Most teachers use 2 kinds of assessment--formative and summative. Formative assessments are on-going, in-the-moment measures of a group or student's level of learning. They tend to be less formal than, say, an exam or essay. A crucial element of formative assessment is feedback from the learners. While still studying the subject, formative assessments give students a chance to tell you where they still need more work or clarification before taking a high stakes assessment. Summative assessments, however, measure student learning after a certain amount of instruction. They often appear as essays, exams, tests, quizzes and the like. Being more formal in nature, they are often the high stakes portion of a students' grade in class. Whether you're using a formative or summative assessment, let technology reduce the burden on you while effectively gathering information about the learning taking place.
Real Lesson Example
Check out a former student's electronic portfolio!
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-Use technology to perform a CAT (classroom assessment technique) with your class. For example, have students send a one-sentence summary of the day's lesson to you via email (formative).
-Create a quiz in Blackboard or other teaching software that can be automatically graded and sent to your teacher account (summative).
-Assign a multi-media project at the end of a unit that connects the material to the "real world" (see example attached below). This could be done numerous ways: electronic portfolios, collages, PowerPoint or Prezi, etc. Have students present in class. Students can conduct peer critiques of projects to keep them active, while you can gauge learning through the presentation (summative).
-Have students conduct self-assessments periodically throughout a unit (see example attached below). Share your grading guidelines with them, and ask that they complete an assessment of their own work before handing it in. Allow enough time for students to make adjustments to the final assignment before handing it in (formative).