One the of challenges faced by many ‘Teachers’ is how best to evidence learning (the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study, or by being taught) or progress made. Progress as a definition is “Forward or onward movement toward a destination.” however in an educational sense this is often applied to academic progress. The Ofsted CIF (2012) suggests ‘staff initially assess learners’ starting points and monitor their progress, set challenging tasks, and build on and extend learning for all learners’.
Today i attempted to use technology to support the tracking of progress made against standards, and to improve the timeliness of feedback in a class setting. Using Google Sites I created a ‘Lesson‘ which included a knowledge section, a range of activities (including extension activities), embedded media (video, podcasts, publications), and clear success criteria. At the end of the lesson section i embedded a Socrative Quiz. This was a short 8 question method of assessment for learning, used to check understanding on completion of the task. Learners were provided with a set of instructions and were tasked to complete the lesson and quiz within 1 hour. A crib sheet was provided for them to make notes and also record any questions they may have as they work through the resource. Individuals who completed the activities set were targeted to complete the extension activities as appropriate.
The images below aim to demonstrate some of the key impact measures of this technique. Firstly the Google Site is public although you could restrict this to your local domain if required, either way this allows individuals who missed the session or need to review aspects of the lesson a chance to do so 24/7. Using the Google iframe i was able to embed the m.socrative link within the site and simply provide the room number for students to enter. As learners worked through the quiz i was able to track live progress to see who was engaging with the assessment. I was able to share this live view with the group as learner ID numbers were used and therefore individuals scores were not identifiable to their peers. After each question learners received instant feedback as to whether they answered it correctly. This is especially important in a world where games consoles provide instant feedback yet educational establishments can take several weeks to mark learner work!
On completion, I was able to download the automated report which had built in conditional formatting, thus i was able to see during the lesson which learners had answered which questions correctly and use this information to target individual students.
I have used Google forms for some time now however recently I started to explore other ways they could be used. This post reflects on one recent approach whereby I designed a form that could be used to assess student presentations. The structure of the form was such that once submitted the spreadsheet sitting behind the form would contain the relevant and more importantly personalised feedback required for learners to improve their work. This major benefit for this in terms of Individual and Group presentations is that the form can be designed to not only state what they have included or not but also includes things to consider in order to improve. I also included reference to assessment criteria, whether it was fully achieved or partially achieve, and what the other all grade was. The final section allowed for feedback on oracy, spelling, punctuation, grammar and presentation delivery/style. Already a colleague Lee Chapman has began to take this one step further in terms of adding the paragraph section for even more focused feedback or comments that need to be made.