Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CEDO 550 Week 4: Figuring Formative

Formative Assessment Web2.0 + Mobile
I found a students response system about a year ago when I got my first Android phone, Socrative which is a great alternative to expensive clicker systems for student response. I never really investigated it or played with until now and it seems just the right thing. It's built for education , unlike several other audience response systems available on the web and best of all, it's free.

Socrative uses a teacher login to create polls and quizzes. Students log onto the teacher account/vroom using a numerical code - done! There are single question spur of the moment polls as well as pre-made quizzes available and the best is the end of class wrap-up Exit Survey where students are requested to summarize some thoughts on the lesson.

The teacher interface is available through modern browsers, Andriod, iOS and Blackberry. Students may access through a browser or Android device with iOS and Blackberry coming soon. Optimal use scenarios include 1:1 programs, Bring Your Own Device schools or classes held in a computer lab because the program relies on live questioning and answering. As long as the teacher has made a question, quiz or exit survey live, students could also take turns on classroom computers to complete an item throughout the course of the day/period.

Single stand alone questions will have no name attached to the response and are best used for overall group assessment. Quizes and Exit Surveys will have student names associated with responses making it possible for individualized feedback and action.

Monitor the Response:
Responses are live in real-time and can be projected for all to see via the teacher login if desired. An Excel file of responses can also be downloaded or emailed for further analysis.

Diagnose the Response:
An Excel file of responses can also be downloaded or emailed for analysis.

Share Feedback Based on the Diagnosis:
This step is probably the one that is the most important but least used. For a formative assessment to be effective, students will need to know what's going on, what they are doing well with and what they need work on. Socrative offers no means for giving individual feedback so the teacher must do this by some other method.


I think with starting out simple and getting into the habit of using such a system, you and your students would gradually develop a good system for formative assessment. With practice, you would begin to start asking questions that address your objectives and in return, find out if those objectives are being met. With regular and consistent use and in turn feedback to students, you would have another tool to help you with formative assessment.

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