[by Roger Loxley]
I was invited, the other day, to talk to MFL Heads of Language about ways in which we can embed assessments into lessons in a way that provides an opportunity for immediate feedback, easy marking and common tests that will help them gauge progress and improve learning overall. Oh, and hopefully reduce the pressure on end of unit assessments and the workload that goes with that.
So, I thought I’d discuss some of the bits of software that I’ve used, or have been aware of the use of in the school.
Kahoot – https://getkahoot.com/
A great, competitive, game-based assessment tool that allows teachers to set up and run a multiple choice quiz. Students access the quiz through an app or directly through kahoot.it using a game PIN that is unique to that game. It’s fast and fun with students getting points for accuracy and speed of response. After each question they get to see who’s in the lead. Most of the time they forget they are being tested!
Aside from the fun element, the teacher can download the results at the end of the test to see who got which questions right. This is great diagnostics for simple assessment and allows the teacher to use the software as a proper tool. Start of the lesson, middle of the lesson, end of the lesson; doesn’t matter when, it’s great fun. Kids love it (mostly).
Socrative – http://www.socrative.com/
Not as fun as Kahoot, but a very similar idea which also has the opportunity to offer slightly different and more sophisticated questioning.
Again, it’s app or internet based and, as with Kahoot its great advantage lies in getting feedback from the tests that allows teachers to see easily and quickly who has done well and who hasn’t, or if there are questions that many have got wrong. So, it marks for you and gives you feedback that can really help the teacher differentiate and address individuals.
Google forms – https://www.google.co.uk/forms/about/
This is best for open-ended questions, although multiple choice is equally possible. Not game-based at all and the layout is less engaging than Kahoot or Socrative. But the results are downloaded into a spreadsheet so the teacher can see easily and quickly the individual student outcomes. This, of course, means that the department could set common tests and then collate the answers to compare across sets/classes. Great for getting an overall view of how all the students are doing and monitoring overall progress.
Google forms are also really good for collecting feedback from students at regular intervals during the year. Easily done through a link or QR code.
Quizlet – https://quizlet.com/
The difference here is that Quizlet allows tests to be done which include other languages. It also has audio so words are spoken as well as written down. Plus the games it can play are different – including, for example, matching pairs (words and pictures) or typing answers in a time limit. So, again, a variety of activities, but importantly with downloadable results.
My current favourite! This one is great, again app or internet based but it allows teachers to import a powerpoint presentation and then embed within it weblinks, audio, video and, critically, quizzes, free text questions, polls. The results are then downloadable to a spreadsheet for analysis.
The other great feature is that these presentations can be set as homework, so assessments can be embedded and they are automatically marked and the results available.
Presentations can be viewed on the big screen or students can join a live presentation and watch on their devices. In which case the teacher has control over the presentation and advances the slides and quizzes at an appropriate pace. Quizzes, polls and free text answers are all entered via the students’ devices and the results can be shared with the class to discuss pertinent answers. What students see on their screens is determined by the teacher.
I really like nearpod and have been using it this half of term with my L6th. They seem to enjoy it as well.
So, there are a few ideas and I would urge teachers to have a look and try them. The fact that results are collated and downloadable saves teachers marking time but actually gives better information that allows us to use the data to help students more.
Any question, please ask!