Common Sense

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Top Tech Tools for Formative Assessment

Through formative assessment, teachers check student understanding, get valuable data on student learning, and then use that data to modify instruction. When teachers know what students know (or don't know), they can adjust to meet students right at their level. The best formative assessment tools also help students self-reflect and assess, figuring out where they are and where they need to go as learners. Browse the tools below to find one that meets your needs. There are formative assessment apps for everything from discussion to quizzing, polling, and student responses to interactive lessons and videos.

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Interactive Lessons and Video

Edulastic

Powerful standards-based assessment tool tracks student progress

Bottom line: An efficient platform -- especially for test prep -- that helps teachers track student progress on standards mastery.

Nearpod

Engage and assess students with media, videos, and interactive slides

Bottom line: This is a great tool with a vast content library, and the teacher- or student-paced learning can unlock the potential of 1-to-1 environments.

PlayPosit

Interactive video creator has great question variety

Bottom line: This tool strikes a nice balance, offering teachers an easy intro to interactive video mixed with a large set of features that can lead to increasingly sophisticated lesson design.

Edpuzzle

Crop, customize, and remix online video content with interactive tool

Bottom line: This is a valuable tool that teachers can use to flip classrooms or support student-led creation.

Common Sense Selection

Flipgrid

Pose questions, spark thoughtful video responses with stellar tool

Bottom line: This accessible, approachable tool offers connection, multiple means of expression, and creativity to apply to almost any topic.

LessonUp

Flexible interactive presentation tool engages kids at school and home

Bottom line: LessonUp is for teachers who like designing unique lessons to reach every learner.

Spiral

Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

Common Sense Selection

Pear Deck

Interactive slideshows offer a variety of ways to engage and assess

Bottom line: This is an appealing platform that can really ramp up engagement around formative assessment.

ClassFlow

Robust lesson creation and delivery tool helps with assessment

Bottom line: In the hands of a determined teacher, this platform's useful suite of tools can support learning experiences that move from instruction to assessment and back.

Quizzing, Polling, and Student Response

Classkick

Assign, assist, and assess with real-time, interactive classroom

Bottom line: It's a great option for teachers who want to go paperless, provide specific feedback, and encourage collaboration among students in virtual or 1-to-1 classrooms.

Mentimeter

Call on everybody at once with flexible, interactive presentation tool

Bottom line: You can use this tool to create dynamic presentations that strike a balance between information and interaction.

ASSISTments

Functional (but not flashy) tool helps with assessing math skills

Bottom line: With purposeful planning, it's a simple, solid, and free tool for gathering critical data to support students' academic growth.

Common Sense Selection

Formative

Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for 1-to-1, BYOD classrooms

Bottom line: This is a cleverly designed tool that can gather a variety of student response types and help teachers offer individualized feedback.

Kahoot!

Game-like student-response tool can spark competitive fun

Bottom line: This is an effortlessly fun and flexible platform, but it shines best with creative implementation that tests its boundaries.

Plickers

Useful, low-tech rapid-response tool promotes formative assessment

Bottom line: This can be a useful tool for getting quick feedback or snapshots of understanding in technology-limited classrooms.

Sero!

Fresh approach to assessment through concept maps shows promise

Bottom line: This unique formative assessment platform's success will largely depend on teachers to keep content meaningful and relevant.

Slido

Increase student buy-in with interactive polls and Q&A sessions

Bottom line: Engaging classroom response platform offers teachers and students real-time feedback opportunities.

Socrative

Formative and summative assessment merge in snapshot polls and quizzes

Bottom line: Powerful and easy-to-use student-response system has the potential to support responsive teaching.

Gimkit Live

Group game-show fun and independent study in one engaging tool

Bottom line: This tool's unique spin on game shows could increase engagement, or offer classrooms burned out on other tools something new.

Quizalize

Familiar game show-like quizzes with a few new features

Bottom line: Easy-to-set-up and mostly free way to assign quizzes and check for understanding with a handy but paid option for progress tracking.

GoSoapBox

Audience response tool gives instant feedback despite dated design

Bottom line: It's an easy-to-learn, practical tool for online formative assessment and limited student interaction.

Poll Everywhere

Straightforward student-response tool engages kids with minimal setup

Bottom line: Quick setup and interactive features allow students to engage and teachers to receive and provide immediate feedback.

Discussion

Kaizena

Nifty add-on enables audio and text feedback in Google Docs

Bottom line: If your classroom relies a lot on Google Docs, this might just be the feedback tool you're looking for.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects

Bottom line: It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations.

YO Teach!

Backchannel tool offers interactive polls, drawing, messages, and more

Bottom line: Quick setup and multimodal features make this a great fit for a variety of carefully monitored classroom discussions.

Backchannel Chat

Real-time, moderated online discussions can engage and encourage

Bottom line: This tools offers a fun, simple, and safe way to hold real-time online discussions that might just increase engagement, interest, and even learning.

Common Sense Selection

Parlay

Comprehensive discussion platform develops critical-thinking skills

Bottom line: A great tool in any subject or topic for teachers looking to make discussion a central part of their classroom.

Piazza

Advanced Q&A tool compels collaboration, higher-order thinking

Bottom line: Encourage collaborative, student-centered learning with this useful platform, but make sure it's the right fit for your students.

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