It’s almost report card time and most of us are focused on summative assessments. However, as with anything cyclical, we’ll be looking at formative assessments again before long! The good news is the G Suite for Education has a number of tools to help with formative assessment.
The simplest tool is Google Classroom. In Classroom you can ask your students quick questions and have a record of all their answers with very little effort. Depending on what you are wanting to know (do they know how to multiply fractions; can they give you an example of evolution at work?) you can choose short answer questions or multiple choice questions. If you ask the question at the end of class and then look at the answers before the next class, you will not only get an idea of who is understanding the information individually but you can also see if the class as a whole is fine as is or if they need more instruction.
Google Forms gives you several ways to collect information from your students to help drive instruction. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create short, self-grading quizzes. The self-grading quiz serves two purposes. You get a spreadsheet with all of the results, so you can quickly see who understands the work. Your students get immediate feedback in the form of knowing which answers they got right and which wrong. Here is a short video to guide you through the process of creating a self-grading quiz.
Another way you can use Google Forms for quick, formative assessment is to create a short form that starts with a drop down menu with all of your student’s names in it. This will take a bit of work, but the form can be copied for later iterations. From there, you can create a “question” with the skill or outcome you are planning to assess (I did this with “Can say the date in French”). Your “answers” to this question are in the form of checkboxes containing your descriptors. I used:
- Great job!
- Wrong day
- Wrong date
- Wrong month
- Wrong year
What you will end up with is a spreadsheet with all of the information you need to decide who knows the information and who still needs further practice!
I am sure there are many other ways the G Suite for Education tools could be used for formative assessment. I hope these ones are helpful for you!