How to... Use technology to support assessment

As summer approaches and thoughts turn to end-of-year assessment, one teacher shares his top eight pieces of technology for assessing what pupils have learnt

Neil Jarrett

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Measuring the progress that your pupils have made over the course of the year can be a laborious job and sometimes feels like a pointless box-ticking exercise. But assessment doesn’t have to be like that.

At its best, assessment shows us how much pupils have achieved and provides valuable feedback to help us plan the next steps in our teaching.

With the help of technology, administering worthwhile assessment doesn’t need to be a chore.

Here are my top eight free tech tools for conducting formative and summative assessments that are quick, timely and simple to carry out:

  1. Typeform

    This website and app allows you to make quizzes, questionnaires and tests, and then send them to your students. When pupils complete the questions, Typeform marks them, and gives you feedback and analysis for your whole class or for individual students. 
  2. Google Classroom 

    This is an excellent tool for managing your class assessment. It allows you to monitor and assess your students’ work effectively by setting them assignments through the Google Classroom platform. When the deadline arrives, the programme lets you know who has handed the assignment in. You can then review the work, give targeted feedback and assign grades.
  3. TodaysMeet

    During lessons, it is vital to provide instant, formative assessment. TodaysMeet allows you to create a classroom chatroom that your students can join by entering a code. You can then pose questions, share ideas and get immediate feedback, all without calling a halt to your lesson.
  4. Socrative

    This website and app allows you to create lots of different types of assessment, from an end-of-unit exam to mini quizzes for use during a lesson, or plenary quizzes to use as an 'exit tool'.  You can also find readymade quizzes by searching the database.
  5. QuickVoice

    For drama or speaking and listening assessment, try using an iPad's built-in video camera or a voice-recorder app to evidence learning. QuickVoice is one voice-recorder option. Playing the video or audio recording back, either to the whole class, small groups or individually, allows for closer examination and analysis.
  6. Jot!

    If you like to use mini whiteboards to assess on the go, Jot! is the perfect app for you. Ask pupils to open the app on an iPad or iPhone and make notes or write answers down that they can show to you. This is a great way to conduct instantaneous assessment of learning.
  7. ForAllRubrics

    This easy-to-use website helps you to create rubrics to score and evaluate the quality of students' constructed responses. It is a really effective way to keep on top of summative assessment.
  8. Pick-Me

    When conducting informal verbal assessment during a lesson, do you find yourself always calling on the same children? Even if you think that you vary your questioning, it is likely that some students will be missed out more often than others. Pick-Me is an app that randomly selects pupils, making sure that you are assessing the learning of a range of class members.

Neil Jarrett is a Year 6 teacher at an international school in Bangkok. He tweets from @EdtechNeil and his blog is EdTech4Beginners.

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Neil Jarrett

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