During our latest ECI 833 class fellow classmates, Trevor, Matt and Dalton did an informative presentation on a number of different online assessment tools. I found this presentation to be extremely beneficial as there seems to be a constant looming cloud hanging over schools as to maybe not if, but when teachers and students will need to move to online teaching and learning. While the tools Trevor, Matt and Dalton presented on would prove beneficial if teaching online, they also provide effective ways to asses in the classroom and engage students with technology at the same time. I found the following chart to be very informative about a number of different online assessment tools teachers can incorporate into their classroom or online lessons:
When choosing an assessment tool it is important to keep in mind the type of assessment you are wanting your students to complete, whether this is a formative or summative assessment. “Formative assessment is an ongoing, flexible, and more informal diagnostic tool. While summative assessment is, as the word implies, an evaluation of the sum product of the lesson. Summative assessments are more formal, structured, and often used to normalize performance so they can be measured and compared”. (Source)
Two assessment tools that I had not heard of before, but stood out for me during the presentation were Knowledge Hook and Class Kick. I felt like these online tools could provide effective ways to assess students’ progress in math and reading.
I liked the idea of Knowledge Hook as a math assessment tool because it seemed to be extra engaging for students as they got to build a “bot” or “Avatar”; something that my grade 4 students already love to do when using Raz kids. I also liked Knowledge Hook because it seemed like it could provide a quick snapshot of where students were at in math. As we have just started our multiplication unit, I was able to use this tool as a pre-assessment tool for this unit. Most of the students found the questions easy to complete and enjoyed completing the online activity. I think I will continue to use this tool as a pre-assessment tool for our math units, rather than a summative assessment tool.
In addition to Knowledge Hook I tried out Class Kick with my students. Recently our school moved to a new reading assessment program called Fountas and Pinnell. A large part of this reading assessment program involves students needing to orally retell what happened in the story that they read. I found this to be challenging for many of my students. I like how Raz Kids provides assessments where students can record themselves orally reading a short story and then can record themselves retelling the main parts of the story. One challenge is that there are only 4 assessments per reading level, and some students need additional practice with this skill.
This is where Class Kick was and will continue to be very beneficial. I was able to find reading passages in the pre-made activity section of the app. I could then assign the reading piece to students where they were able to record themselves reading the piece and could orally answer the questions presented on the page. It did take some time to teach students how to use the “record” feature for this app, but I feel it was time well spent for the long run.
What really stood out for me with this app during our class presentation was the student connection feature. This feature allowed students to ask a question, where a fellow peer could then assist them. In addition, students did not know who they were helping, but those who were receiving the help were notified who helped them. I found this to be a unique feature for students to engage with. I am planning on utilizing this feature when I have students complete their unit review for our Rocks and Minerals Unit. Check back later to see how it went!
In conclusion, there are a variety of online assessment tools that can be utilized to engage students in meaningful ways while still being able to effectively assess their progress whether it is in the form of a formative or summative assessment. The following article provides further insight on how technology is transforming everyday assessment.