Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more E-fficient!

Digital Formative Assessment Tools


While we're teaching, we're constantly gauging the students in front of us. Whether they're engaged, on-task, or have the look of confusion showing. So often, this is where a formative assessment enters the lesson. It could be a quick, verbal check, or even a thumbs up, thumbs down of who understands the material. But, incorporating digital "quick checks" may engage students even further, plus allow you as the teacher to determine understanding of a certain topic. Below are a few of my favorite tools to use for digital formative assessment checks that keep the lesson moving without wasting valuable class time.

Google Classroom

Using Google Classroom seems the easiest tool since your students are more than likely already logged in to your class and the tab is open. There are two easy ways to do this. The first one is under the Classwork tab. The option is there to Create a Question. Ask students their comfort level with the material, and have it all generated into the classroom relatively easily. Additionally, if your Classroom is set up to allow students to post and comment, send an Announcement out on the Stream and they can comment on the post quickly and efficiently.


If you haven't used Mentimeter, this is a an amazing tech tool that offers a variety of options for use in the classroom. This is an interactive presentation creation software that allows you to insert different templates for slides. A few examples are open-ended questions, multiple choice, and even an option for "who's going to win?" If you have a few of these created, share them out with students, and then get a quick snapshot of understanding in various ways.


Another easy solution that isn't quite as "tech-heavy" is Plickers. In order to use Plickers, you need to print off half-sheet cards that have QR codes on the front of them. Then, the app needs to be downloaded on the teacher's phone. The way this works is that the students hold their cards horizontally or vertically based on the answer they choose, then the teacher phone scans all of those at one time within the app, which then displays the answers (anonymously) at the front of the room. An easy, fun, and engaging way to gather multiple choice data without students having to use their own devices!


Another, more visual, tool is Formative. This interactive program gives students the opportunity to use their touchpads to draw their responses on a virtual, shareable whiteboard. As you pose the question of their understanding, they can simply draw their response, and then you are able to view each individual tile on your device. To take it a step further, the option exists to anonymously display a student's response for the rest of the class to see, to show off exemplary pieces of work or discuss areas of confusion.

Pear Deck

The ultimate interactive presentation and amazing formative assessment tool is Pear Deck. This is extremely easy to use and can give you data in a matter of seconds. As you are presenting a Slides presentation, students can manipulate interactives that gives you a sense of how much the class is understanding. What's great about this tool is that it is a Google Slides add-on, so as you're creating your presentation, adding a Pear Deck template slide is as simple as click and drop. My favorite part about this is that it can be inserted "on the fly" and then is displayed on the student devices almost immediately.

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