Have you ever considered how many times a day you are assessing your students? We assess students without even realizing it as we walk around the classroom, through games and activities but also during conversations. Assessments are an essential part of our jobs in the classroom as it is our way to keep track of our student's progress and understanding consistently.
This past year, many of us were put into a position where we could no longer rely on face-to-face assessments because we were pushed to online learning in the blink of an eye. Now more than ever, it is crucial to be able to continually assess students using some of the strategies that we learned from teaching online because to be totally honest with you some of them saved me so much time & energy. What's great about digital assessment tools is that they can be used whether you are teaching in-person or online! I know that the word digital assessments sound unfamiliar for many of us, and we are unsure of where to even begin. I want to provide you with a few ways to start this in your classroom today with confidence AND with some awesome freebies!
Virtual assessments have advantages other than being essential for online learning. First, paperless marking- need I say more? And, Always having access to your grade book as well as providing students with feedback quickly. The timing of your feedback is essential, and it is more effective when it is rapidly provided after the work is completed! Check out this FREE French & English Digital Gradebook that can help you to keep track of your assessments as well allows you to access your gradebook from anywhere. Pro tip: Duplicate a gradebook sheet for EACH subject that way it stays organized!
VIRTUAL EXIT TICKETS
Virtual exit tickets are an excellent way to quickly assess whether or not your students understood a concept or as a way to reflect on something that they just learned. Throughout online learning, many teachers used Google Forms & Google Classroom to do this! When using Google Forms, you can create a genetic form that includes their name, the date, a space for them to add the question and a space to write. Then as the teacher, display a question on your whiteboard and have your students answer it using the Google Form. They can do this over and over again, and you'll now have a record of all of their responses for every exit ticket that you do! If this is confusing, click here to download your FREE Virtual Exit Ticket Template and save yourself all of the time & marking.
An alternative to using Google Forms is to use Google Classroom; when using Google Classroom, you can use the "ask a question" feature to poll your students as they complete tasks. When you have this information, it is also a way to assess your lesson to see if modifications are needed. After you collect all the exit tickets, you can use this as an opportunity to sort through the students' responses and identify their strengths and areas of improvement to help you plan your next lesson. Exit tickets are truly a quick and straightforward way to do a short formal assessment!
One of my favourite ways to take anecdotal notes is with Google Forms. I've created a FREE Digital Anecdotal Notes Template for you that includes students' names, date, curriculum strand, and a spot to add notes. During class time, fill out the form when you are observing a student and then all of the data will be automatically uploaded to a Google Sheets so you can reference it later! I love having these anecdotal notes to refer back to for progress reports and parent-teacher conferences.
MOTE - GOOGLE CHROME EXTENSION
Lastly, I'd love to to share with you a FREE Google Chrome extension that I discovered from Kat and LOVE using. It's called Mote and it's fantastic for easy teacher feedback because it allows you to record feedback directly ON Google Classroom, Google Docs and so much more. You have 90 seconds of recording with the free version and your students can listen to the feedback as often as they need to. When you provide them with this verbal feedback, they can replay it at a later time and take their own notes about improving. It's also become my go-to method for providing students with verbal instructions in French because you can use it in the comments of a Google Classroom assignment to verbally explain the instructions! Having the option to listen and repeat is an effective way for many of my students to learn, especially those who are learning a second language and who might need to hear the instructions more than once.
Teachers were forced to figure out new and innovative ways to assess their students without being in the classroom. With online learning and a shift towards technology-driven resources, it has become our new normal. I am a total technology girl, but I know not all of us are, so I hope these ideas helped you feel a little more at ease about implementing digital assessments in your classrooms!