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Are you looking for a new formative assessment tool to try with students?

Formative assessments can help you determine how students are progressing with content, and make adjustments to instruction. Technology assists in the formative assessment process, making it quick and easy to collect and analyze information about student learning.

But what types of tools are out there to help us as educators assess students?

Take a look at a few of my favorites...

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Google Forms: Eliminate Assessment Paperwork

Are you tired of collecting paperwork from your students? Do you wish there was a way you could collect them and keep them digitally in your computer? The answer is easier than you think. In this 3-Minute Classroom Problem Solver video, SimpleK12's Teacher Learning Community presenter Kim Munoz explains how you can use Google Drive to eliminate assessment paperwork, saving you precious time. Yippee! 

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Kim does a wonderful job explaining how she uses Google Forms to collect information from students and house it digitally inside her Google Drive account. She'll walk you through how to create a basic form. I promise you, it's simple! You do NOT need to be a tech wizard to create your first form from scratch. Google takes care of all of the details for you. (If you'd like to learn more in-depth from Kim on setting up your first form, click here.)

Once you get going with Google Forms, there are so many ways you can use it to help you in the classroom. Entrance tickets, exit tickets, pop-quizzes, sign-up forms, parent questionnaires, feedback surveys - how are you planning on using this tool?

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Flubaroo: Save Time with Automatic Grading

Have you been using Google Forms for awhile now? You may be ready for the next step in easy assessment with Google. Lean in close now and I'll tell you a secret -- there is another tool you can use in conjunction with Google Forms to grade all your assessments automatically. And yes, it's also free!

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Toss your scantrons and embrace the digital age, it's easier than ever to automatically grade multiple choice quizzes using Flubaroo, a free add-on that works with Google Forms (also free, yay!).

Watch the video above to see step-by-step how it's done, because Kim does a much better job outlining it in the video than I could do here.

My favorite thing about Flubaroo is one of the extra bonus features. While not required, you can have students put in their email address when they are taking their quiz (again this is optional, so you can skip this step if your students don't have emails). After you grade the results, you can choose to have the results individually mailed out to each student's email... all automatic, of course! This makes it easier than ever to distribute grades to your students.

Flubaroo also gives you a summary report of how all of your students did on the quiz, and alerts you when the majority of your students get a question wrong. This is a great way to see which areas you need to go back and focus on more in-depth.

Whether for quick exit tickets or pop quizzes, I'm sure you'll love using Flubaroo to save time grading. Have you used this tool with your students yet?

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Kahoot: Make Test Reviews Fun

Today's students have short attention spans, and can be hard to engage in the classroom. This free web tool allows you to make test reviews that engage students by using mobile devices to respond to quiz questions, much like a game. In this 3-Minute Classroom Problem Solver, SimpleK12's Teacher Learning Community presenter Kim Munoz gives a tour of Kahoot, a tool you can use to create your own learning games.

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Right at first glance, there's a lot to love about Kahoot. When you go to sign-up at GetKahoot.com, the first thing you see is students excitedly shouting out near a computer, and the large print screaming, "Make Learning Awesome!" Isn't learning awesome? Yes, it is! Can students love learning, too? Yes, they can! And Kahoot can help you get students excited about learning.

Kahoot helps make learning fun by allowing you to make your own learning games. They call them games - you can call them test reviews, quizzes, or formative assessments - whatever floats your boat. You can create your own learning game in a matter of minutes, and Kahoot encourages you to include images, videos, or diagrams in your game to keep your students interested.

Once your game is created, all you need to do is invite your players (your students) to join. They can join via their mobile devices, or any device with an internet connection. One neat thing about Kahoot is the physical location of the players doesn't matter. They can join in from the same classroom, or from all over the globe. Imagine how much fun your students would have competing with students from another school, state, or country.

One of my favorite things about Kahoot is there are NO accounts required for your players. Just set your learning game up, share the info, and they can sign in using the unique code provided. It's a huge time saver!

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Nearpod: Assess Students During Presentations

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to assess a student while you're making a presentation, NearPod, which can run either as an app on your smartphone or tablet or via their web app, might be the tool you'll want to turn to. With a NearPod presentation you can add a poll, create open-ended questions, or embed videos and other elements to existing PowerPoint or other presentations.

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Alternatively, you you can create a new presentation within NearPod itself. So, instead of stagnant one-way information vomiting, you can have your students interact with the presentation through the elements that you include -- the quizzes, open-ended questions, and so on. You can get started quickly by using one of the app's over 2,000 ready-to-use Nearpods. For every NearPod presentaiton you create and deliver, you can also get reports that summarize all of your students' responses, which you can turn into grades or use for feedback and coaching.

Nearpod presentations don't have to be live, so you can also allow students to go through the material on their own time. This is perfect for students who missed material, or for setting review assignments for students to complete on their own. Of course, this makes a great flipped classroom tool.  Nearpod allows students to review presentations at their own pace on their computer, tablet, or mobile device at home.

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Socrative: Quiz Students in Real-Time Using Mobile Devices

"Socrative empowers you to engage and assess your students as learning happens. Through the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, you have instant insight into levels of understanding so you can use class time to better collaborate and grow as a community of learners." - Socrative.com

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Using a tool such as Socrative allows you to create quick custom assessments for students. You view all the results in real-time, so no time spent grading or running papers through a scantron. Your students do need access to technology in order to use the tool, but they'll be able to participate on any type of device. Computer, laptop, chromebook, tablet -- Socrative works on just about every type of technology!

Interested to learn about other tools for easy formative assessment? Check out one of these on-demand courses to learn the ins and outs from Dr. Jayme Linton, an experienced educator and technology trainer:

Free Web Tools for Easy Formative Assessment – Formative assessments can help you determine how students are progressing with content and make adjustments to instruction. Technology can assist in the formative assessment process, making it quick and easy to collect and analyze information about student learning. In this session, discover four free web tools (Socrative included) that make it easy to create and implement formative assessments to measure student learning and inform instruction.

Some Amazing Mobile Apps that Changed How I Assess Students  Mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets are amazing teaching and learning tools, but did you also know that they also make it easy for students to show you what they know? In this session, Dr. Linton discusses how tablets and mobile apps changed how she assesses students' learning, and show how you can use them to make student thinking visible. Discover how Socrative, VoiceThread, and some additional apps can be used to assess student understanding, and how you can use these apps for assessment in your classroom.

5 Tech Tools for Formative Assessment Click to Tweet

What's your favorite formative assessment tool to use with students? Tell me about it in a comment on this article.

Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics, and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.


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