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Exploring Assessment: Two Tools for Educators

by Miguel Guhlin
exploring assessment
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Many of us are on always on the hunt for quiz game tools that can make assessment easier and more enjoyable. Others may be looking for dashboards for student assessment data. In this blog entry, we’ll review why assessment is so important. Then, we’ll take a look at two tools that lend themselves to teacher and organizational use. Let’s get started!

Research on Assessment

When you think of assessment, you may be considering it in light of feedback. As you know, the feedback strategy enjoys an effect size of d=0.70. This makes it a powerful strategy. When used in a consistent manner, it results in almost two years of growth for each year. The need for assessment flows from the need to provide informed feedback.

exploring assessment

Formative assessment allows us to track student learning, progress, and understanding. Think of it as a radar system that shows the gap in understanding, the gap between a student’s current stage of understanding and the target level.

exploring assessment

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When working with students, keep these three tips in mind when providing feedback:

1. Ask the four questions:

  • What can the student do?
  • What can’t the student do?
  • How does the student’s work compare with that of others?
  • How can the student do better?

2. Take advantage of single-point rubrics to convey expectations.

3. Connect the feedback language you use to specific success criteria. One example might be, “How will I know I have learned this?” Be sure to share that feedback at the start of the lesson (adapted from source).

Did You Know?

Sign up for TCEA’s Assessment-Based Feedback course. The course is available online and is self-paced, which means you can move through it as you wish. You will not only learn more about evidence-based strategies, but also about new digital tools that align to each strategy. See a list of more courses online.

Two Tools for Teachers

As you might imagine, there are many digital tools to assist you with assessment. Let’s examine two solutions.

Assessment Tool #1: Quizalize.com

This assessment tool comes with a variety of features, some available for free. Features include:

  • Standards-tagged quizzes: Use quizzes for low-stakes practice testing or retrieval practice
  • Differentiated follow-up activities: Offer students more experience and practice testing activities
  • Data-based discussions: Explore learning gaps with students
  • TEKS-aligned content for a variety of content areas: Track mastery data

Quizalize offers a “Mastery Dashboard” that provides quick insights into student learning gaps. You and the student can use the visuals to figure out the best next steps. You can also synchronize classes to Google Classroom.

Image Source: Quizalize.com

See pricing online. Note that the Quizalize Teacher Basic account is available for free. It offers three classes and five activities. It comes with a teacher dashboard, team live game, and online results, as well as a preview dashboard. To get more features, annual pricing plans are available.

See more videos online.

Assessment Tool #2: Edcite.com

Ready to get Edcited? This assessment tool offers a rich feature set, including the following:

  • Ready-to-use assessments
  • More than 60 tech-enhanced item types such as drag and drop, select text, math keypad, and graphing
  • Easy sharing to students
  • Instant data access
  • Works well with a variety of learning systems that include Clever, Canvas, Google for Education, and Microsoft, among others

Listen to this teacher share her perspective on this tool:

Teachers are able to sign up with Google, Microsoft, or Clever for their free account. Districts and schools can request more information online.

You can see Edcite in action via their featured collections. These are collections of assessment for different content areas. For example, the Hispanic Heritage collection includes assessments such as:

  • Latin America
  • Latinas in Space: Upper Elementary ELA Assignment
  • The Seven Independence Days of Hispanic Heritage Month

In that last one, students “review geography, identify national flags.” They also analyze videos about Mexican Independence Day.

edcite

These two assessment tools offer a more institutional type of solution that can be invaluable to a classroom teacher. Many will consider the dashboard and data tracking components essential tools. And what campus/district doesn’t have a need for two assessment tools like that?

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