UPDATE: 36 Digital Formative Assessment Tools for the Classroom

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Kathy Dyer |

33 Digital Tools for Advancing Formative Assessment in the ClassroomIf you’ve followed our blog here at Teach Learn Grow, you know that we’re a huge proponent of formative assessment. There is no shortage of formative assessment techniques available to teachers to use in their classroom. They provide teachers the valuable feedback they need to adjust their teaching so student learning moves forward. Add to the many techniques the digital tools available these days in smartphones and tablets, and formative assessment becomes easier than ever to implement.

We’ve blogged previously about some of these digital tools, and I recently came across Jeff Knutson’s blog at Graphite – Fantastic Formative Assessment Tools that Give Great Feedback. I wanted to add his discoveries to our list in an effort to build it out and make it a comprehensive go-to for teachers looking for these tools.

Here are Jeff’s digital formative assessment finds that we can add to our list:

  • Kahoot – A game-based classroom response system, where teachers can create quizzes using Internet content.
  • Backchannel Chat – Similar to TodaysMeet, this site offers a teacher-moderated version of Twitter. An extension of the in-the-moment conversation might be to capture the chat, create a tag cloud and see what surfaces as a focus of the conversation.
  • GoSoapBox – Free for less than 30 students, this all student response system works with the BYOD model, so no charge for a clicker. One of the most intriguing features for me is the Confusion Meter.

Here’s a recap of the 33 digital formative assessment tools we previously shared.

  • Lino – A virtual corkboard of sticky-notes so students can provide questions or comments on their learning. These can be used like exit tickets or during the course of a lesson.
  • Poll Everywhere – Teachers can create a feedback poll or ask questions. Students respond in various ways and teachers see the results in real-time. As Steven indicates, with open-ended questions you can capture data and spin up tag clouds to aggregate response. You should note that Poll Everywhere has a limit to the number of users. Mentimeter (which we’ve listed below) does not which makes it a little more functional.
  • Socrative – Engaging exercises and games that engage students using smartphones, laptops and tablets.
  • AnswerGarden – A tool for online brainstorming or polling, educators can use this real time tool to see student feedback on questions.
  • Ask3 – This app for the iPad allows students and teachers to collaborate on lessons both in and outside of the classroom. Questions can be posted to specific classrooms set up in the app, and students can add their thoughts, answers, and thinking to the whiteboard.
  • AudioNote – A combination of a voice recorder and notepad that captures both audio and notes for student collaboration.
  • BubbleSheet – An app that allows students to complete assignments and common assessments using an iPhone or iPad Quizzes up to 10 questions are free.
  • Coggle – A mind mapping tool designed to understand student thinking.
  • Conceptboard – This software facilitates team collaboration in a visual format – similar to mind mapping, but using visual and textual inputs. Compatible on tablets and PCs, Conceptboard can work from multiple devices.
  • Five Card Flickr – Designed to foster visual thinking, this tool uses the tag feature from photos in Flickr.
  • ForAllRubrics – This software is free for all teachers and allows you to import, create and score rubrics on your iPad, tablet or smartphone. You can collect data offline with no internet access, compute scores automatically and print or save the rubrics as a PDF or spreadsheet.
  • Formative Feedback for Learning – An iPad app that is designed to foster and encourage communication between students and teachers. Through a conference setting it uses icons to prompt discussions. Dylan Wiliam, our resident formative assessment expert, says, “Formative Feedback for Learning looks very useful. I can see myself recommending it to others.”
  • Google Forms – A Google Drive app that allows you to create documents that students can collaborate on in real time using smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • iBrainstorm – An iPad app that allows students to collaborate on projects using a stylus or their finger on screen.
  • I>Clicker – A device that helps facilitate all student response to polls, questions and other teacher-led discussions.
  • iLEAP Pick a Student – Helps the teacher pick a student from the class, and uses turn-based selection so every student is selected before a student is picked again. Supports multiple classes and has a number of selection options.
  • InfuseLearning – A platform by which teachers can engage all students on any device, getting valuable formative feedback along the way.
  • iThoughts – This mind mapping app for Apple’s iFamily® is a great visual tool to help you brainstorm ideas, plan projects and themes, and set goals. As students discuss ideas and possible answers to discussions, educators can visually see the path that their thinking takes, helping to understand how students are learning.
  • Mentimeter – Allows you to use mobile phones or tablets to vote on any question a teacher asks, increasing student engagement.
  • Padlet – Provides an essentially blank canvas for students to create and design collaborative projects. Great for brainstorming.
  • Pick Me! – An easy to use app for the iPod, iPad and iPhone that facilitates random student selection. Can be organized by class for convenience.
  • PollDaddy – Quick and easy way to create online polls, quizzes and questions. Students can use smartphones, tablets, and computers to provide their answers and information can be culled for reports.
  • RabbleBrowser – An iPad app that allows a leader to facilitate a collaborative browsing experience.
  • QuickVoice Recorder – Another free voice recording app for the iPhone or iPad that allows you to record classes, discussions or other project audio files. You can sync your recordings to your computer easily for use in presentations.
  • Random Name/Word Picker – This tool allows the teacher to input a class list and facilitates random name picking. You can also add a list of keywords and use the tool to have the class prompt a student to guess the word by providing definitions.
  • SMART Response VE (for SMARTboards) – A cloud-based software that enables students to respond to planned and spontaneous questions and take quizzes using any of their favorite Internet-enabled devices, from anywhere.
  • Tagxedo – A tag cloud generator that allows you to examine student consensus and facilitate dialogue.
  • ThinkBinder – A collaboration tool that allows students to ask questions and discuss topics in a group, share, create and work together on almost any project.
  • TodaysMeet – This online collaboration tool allows educators to create a “room” in which students can share ideas, answers and thoughts to lectures and lessons. Educators can view student responses in real time for evidence of learning.
  • VoiceThread – Allows you to create and share conversations on documents, diagrams, videos, pictures or almost anything. This facilitates collaborative student discussion and work.
  • Vocaroo – A free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need for software. You can easily embed the recording into slide shows, presentations, or websites. Great for collaborative group work and presentations.
  • Wordle – Generates tag clouds from any entered text to help aggregate responses and facilitate discussion.
  • XMind – A mind mapping software for use on computers and laptops.

If you use digital tools for implementing formative assessment in your classroom or school, we’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment with the tools you use, what you like about them, and they are helping you gather feedback.

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