7 Ways to do Formative Assessments in your Virtual Classroom

Finding the best technique to successfully assess students online and in classes in virtual ways as the school year draws to a close is a problem. Face-to-face classroom exams are simple to monitor and grade, but how can that same effective learning assessment happen in a remote setting? Many schools and universities employ a range of evaluation tools and have devised methods to keep students locked in so that cheating is minimized. 

How can these evaluation tools be implemented into K-12 online and virtual classrooms that were built as an alternative to or in addition to face-to-face classes as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? In the limited time, they had to prepare for the substantial changes in education, most school systems were not able to integrate such evaluation procedures. Teachers had to think outside the box in terms of how they would assess their pupils in the future, both formatively and summatively.

The process of acquiring information on what pupils know based on their educational experiences is known as assessment. The results are usually used to highlight areas that need to be improved and to ensure that the course content fits the needs of the students.

How do formative assessments help the students in learning?

1. Formative assessment allows you to see where your pupils are at in their learning. Formative assessment is an excellent tool for determining a student’s current level of knowledge. Even under ideal circumstances, disruptions to kids’ daily routines during school holidays and other absences might affect how much of what they’ve learned they remember. The trauma of a worldwide pandemic resulting in disease, loss of life, and economic uncertainty, which we are currently experiencing, will certainly limit what knowledge pupils can create and keep much more than a routine interruption to their study. Formative assessment provides strategies for determining student mastery of the subject, information that may be used to determine what critical topic to reinforce before summer break and where possible group-level learning gaps for those kids will exist in the autumn.

2. Formative assessment can help students become more engaged. Formative assessment can help to maintain high levels of engagement throughout virtual education. Formative assessment is all about allowing students to reflect on what they’ve learned, create next actions to improve their comprehension and act on those plans to progress toward mastery. Schooling frameworks that may give the chance for children to participate are vital, especially when our possibilities to contact pupils have grown restricted. Formative assessment procedures are used as a process rather than a test. Formative assessment can assist children in taking control of their education. While teachers may be less able to cater to the needs of individual students, formative evaluation may help students take responsibility for their learning and encourage autonomous growth.  With fewer opportunities to speak directly with students and a growing reliance on supplemental virtual instructional resources, using formative assessment techniques to support student goal setting or similar practices can help students understand the importance of continuing to work on key skills and giving their all.

Ways to do assessments in a virtual classroom

  1. By emphasizing the process of teaching and learning and incorporating students as participants in that process, formative assessment helps students develop their “learning to learn” abilities. It also improves students’ peer and self-assessment abilities, as well as their ability to establish a variety of successful learning techniques.
  2. The majority of formative assessment strategies involve students reflecting on content in terms of what they’ve learned, and encouraging their peers to do so as well. Asking students to indicate what they’d want to study next, making students the lead speakers in a class discussion, or even asking students in small groups to measure each other’s learning are all examples of this.
  3. While motivating and engaging students has always been an element of the secret sauce that drives student success, it’s especially vital when children are asked to dedicate energy to learning outside of the social context of a school building.
  4. Having kids keep a notebook during school closures is a simple concept you may attempt, especially if you have older pupils. This type of task will also work nicely with Google Drive. Of course, the frequency with which you have them a journal and how much you want them to mention is determined by their grade level. If you wanted to provide kids with writing ideas, you might ask them to write about the problems they see ahead of them every Monday, and then reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and what they may try differently the next week.
  5. Giving students options with formative evaluations is critical, according to Anderson, because not all students express their thoughts in the same manner.
  6.  Square, Triangle, Circle, in which students select a form and its related question prompt. A square represents anything that has been “squared away” in their minds. Choosing a triangle requires students to extract three significant concepts from what they studied, whereas a circle requires them to discuss something “circulating” in their minds—ideas that are not yet completely formed. As a reflection activity for asynchronous learning, students can compose their comments independently in an online document. Alternatively, in a synchronous class, teachers might make the exercise collaborative by having students choose a form and then divide them into groups depending on the form they choose. Students can briefly discuss their thoughts with peers in breakout rooms before sharing their findings with the class to wrap up the lesson.
  7. While instructors may wonder if classic classroom standbys (and popular classroom wall decorations) like collages, mind maps, and drawings can be used electronically, teachers we spoke with say they’re still finding methods for kids to express themselves through art, music, and theater. Students can make an advertisement to define and promote a certain concept, draw a comic about a historical event or explain a scientific theory, compose a lyric or a song, or act out a chapter from a book or a scene from a play. Students can record using a phone.

Online tools to add assessments effectively in your virtual classroom

Here are a few options for the various tasks that are gonna help you a lot!

To create online quizzes- Socrative, iSpring Suite, Edpuzzle

For questions-Mentimeter

Online polling-Poll Everywhere

Peer to peer evaluation/feedback-Peergrade

Exit tickets-Exit ticket parking lot

Other than these, some amazing online tools for virtual learning are google forms, pear deck, miro, Flipgrid, Quizzes, etc. 

Bottom line: The easiest approach to figure out which one is perfect for you is to spend a few minutes getting to know each platform and determining which one best suits your present needs. As you grow more familiar with your new digital learning environment, you may always try out a new tool, but it’s crucial not to overload yourself with too many new tools too soon.

Carter Martin

Leave a Comment