Assessment of student learning can be done in a variety of ways. Advancements in technology and the implementation of 1:1 and BYOD programs allow for greater use of technology in conducting both formative and summative assessments. State summative assessments and college entrance exams (GRE, LSAT and others) utilize technology to provide faster results.
Student Response Systems
Apps like Socrative allow for the creation of quick, easy formative assessments, which provide data about the concept shared, the novel being read, and the topic discussed.
Socrative is a free app, which is available through the Apple App Store, Google play, and the Chrome Web Store. Assessments can be created using a tablet, PC, Mac, or smart phone. Student can join the class on any device, but can download the student app to facilitate quick use. All they need to join the class is your class code.
One nice feature of Socrative is the Exit Ticket. The Exit Ticket takes a quick temperature of the class by assessing their own thoughts about today’s material, asking them to share what they learned, and a teacher-created question. Another feature, Space Race allows the teacher to do a review game by splitting the students into groups. The app can select the group from the students enrolled or the teacher or students can create the groups.
Here is a screenshot of a single-question quiz I created using Socrative. The green item is the correct answer. I included an explanation of the correct answer, but it is not visible in the screenshot.
With a multiple choice question, there is no ambiguity to review to determine if the answer is right or wrong. I can look at the student’s response and the rate of correct responses to see if the students know the material. Here is a screenshot of the results.
For the five-question quiz I created, I used short answer questions. The quiz is about famous Detroit Tiger nicknames. Sorry, if you aren’t Detroit Tiger fans, but I was watching a game while creating the quiz.
I learned a valuable lesson about the creation of a quiz using short answer questions on Socrative–the answers I type must be matched letter for letter by the student responses or the answer is wrong. When using short answer questions, I suggest reviewing wrong answers to see if the students misspelled the words or left out a word. Here is a screenshot of my results page for the five question quiz.
I believe the feature I would use the most in Socrative is the Exit Ticket, because it allows me to review student learning for the moment and prepare for the next part of the content or to review the current content.
Other assessment response systems are available digitally. Some are game type learning, like Kahoot!. Some require only the teacher to have technology, like Plickers. More enhanced systems are available, too.
Enhanced Response Systems
One of the enhanced systems is GoSoapBox. GoSoapBox is a Web-based system that allows the user to create a classroom with quizzes, polls, and discussions. It also includes a confusion barometer in every assessment to allow students to share privately how they feel about the content they are learning. Similar to Socrative, students need a class code to enter the class.
The free version allows for up to 30 students at one time. Paid versions are available for use with larger student groups, but the cost ranges from $99/6 months for 75 students to $279/6 months for 400 students.
I created a discussion on GoSoapBox to ask students to choose one word that represent them and explain why they chose that particular word. Here is a screenshot of the responses created by some colleagues.
GoSoapBox has many similarities to Socrative. You can create a quiz, but the quiz must be multiple choice or short answer. True/False questions are not allowed in GoSoapBox. However, allows the user to have students take a poll. The features in Socrative could be used to create a poll, despite the fact they don’t offer the option.
Socrative can be easily accessed through an app without a Web browser, making it readily accessible. This can be valuable when you are requiring students to complete an exit ticket or quick quiz before leaving class. However, the small amount of time to use GoSoapBox would not prohibit me from using it to assess student learning.
I did not see a cost to Socrative to use with more than 30 students so I would probably use it in my classroom before using GoSoapBox.
Which assessment tool do you prefer or use with your students? What experiences do you have with digital assessment tools, like Socrative and GoSoapBox? Please share your experiences, feedback, and suggestions in the comments or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org