In preparation for this post, I did spend some time getting to know theassessment tools listed above. I’ve used smartboard clickers before but stopped because I was having software problems and couldn’t get the software to load correctly on my computers. When it was working, I loved it. The students could enter responses quickly and easily. I even gave a ‘paper’ test and then students just used the clickers to log their responses. It made for easy grading and students could have instant feedback about how they did. Saved me lots of time when it was working correctly. The drawback was that physical equipment was needed and without the equipment it was challenging to create and give assessments with the smart response. I also was frustrated by the ease of creating questions. It was not as simple as I wanted it to be and in order for students to log in, they needed to have a student id number or everything was done anonymously.
In preparation for my weekly progress checks, I attempted to use the tools to actually create an assessment that I could give to my students. I started with trying to use socrative (http://www.socrative.com). I have used socrative before and liked the features that I could have the students work through an assessment at their own pace or change it and push questions to the student when I want. What I did not like was the way that the program interacted with math questions. It was difficult to enter the more complicated math operations that I used for my assessment.
I then started looking at the app Geddit (http://letsgeddit.com). This app has the option to ask a general question like rank your understanding of adding and subtracting integers. This question would be a check in (similar to rate your understanding) students rank their understanding of the topic and then over the course of the your lesson, students can answer a variety of questions and change their rating on the original question. This app would be useful in the 1:1 environment, but it did not provide quite the features that I was looking for. The Math equation editor was better than the one that I had seen on secretive, but the functionality was not quite what I was looking for in my weekly progress checks.
I proceeded to Kahoot! (https://getkahoot.com) I have seen/used this app for events at the golf course I work at part time. These events would use kahoot! to create a trivia game with the attendees. I have loved these activities and I will use this app for future review activities. I enjoy the game-based learning opportunities that are available for the user. The disadvantage is that beyond superscript and subscript, the math editor was very limited. However, you could import an image for the question. Therefore, I could use the MathScript app on my iPad to create an image and then import it into Kahoot! This would definitely be an option for using the app for my math based questions.
The next application that I looked at was exit ticket. (http://exitticket.org) I used this program to create a progress check for my 8th grade students. What I liked about it was that it gave instant feedback on every question for my students and they knew if they got the question correct immediately. There was also a problem bank that I could use to create my assessments. I could create an assessment that would not show up until the day that I scheduled it. The interesting feature of this program is that there is a projector mode that the teacher can display and then students can see to determine how the class as a whole is doing on the progress check overall. It is shown on the board with anonymous numbers showing the progress of each student. Then there is a scale at the top that shows the average scores of the students as they progress. I did not chose to use this because I was uncertain of how it would work in my classroom, but I do see the potential for it in the future. I also saw that there was a way to view the students individual answers in real time. This was useful because my students would enter “x=5” instead of “5” in the answer box. This would then be graded incorrectly but I could go into the program and edit the response and it would change the answer to the correct answer and update the student score. I still was not impressed by the way that it worked with math expressions.
My final solution was to create a google form that I could use for my 7th grade students’ progress check. The questions were on circumference and area. I used a variety of images that my students needed to see associated with a specific question in order to answer the question correctly. Therefore, I had created separate pages for each question. This was useful for my students because they could focus on one question before continuing on to the next question. I used the option to shuffle the multiple choice options which helped avoid cheating. However, I then attempted to use the question shuffle option, but this moved questions around on the page. I learned that the question shuffle option would change the order of the questions on the page therefore the fact that I only had one question on a page did not assist in helping avoid cheating. It was effective, but I need to continue to work with my students to understand how to take a quiz online. Once I created the form, I used the google sheets app to record the responses and the add on Fluberoo to automatically grade the responses. I think this was the most successful of all the options that I had students use.
Overall, there are a wide variety of assessment tools available for teachers and students to use. If teachers do some research, it is important that teachers do their research and understand what options they want their students to access.