Common Sense


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


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.


Interactive slideshow tool engages students, promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and offers both teacher- and student-paced learning.


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.


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

Bottom line: As a flipped classroom or student creation tool, there are lots of opportunities for use, but teachers will need to be creative if they want students to engage.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


Deliver interactive lessons right to kids' mobile devices and tablets

Bottom line: Support learning in and out of the classroom with this multi-faceted content-delivery tool.

Quizzing, Polling, and Student Response


Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring, feedback, and assessment for 1-to-1

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


Call on everybody at once with flexible, interactive presentation tool

Bottom line: This flexible tool supports the creation of dynamic presentations and can help teachers strike a balance between information and interaction.


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


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

Bottom line: Cleverly designed for teachers, Formative offers a flexible and attractive solution for gathering a variety of student response types and offering individualized feedback.


Game-like student-response tool can spark competitive fun

Bottom line: This is an effortlessly fun platform for everything from instruction to quizzing to reflection, but can really shine with thoughtful, creative implementation that tests its boundaries.


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

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


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.


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.


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

Game-show group fun and independent study in one engaging tool

Bottom line: Put students in the driver's seat with collaborative setup and gameplay features.


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.


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.

The Answer Pad

Simple, multipurpose assessment tool for the BYOD classroom

Bottom line: A simple but flexible tool for paperless testing and engaging student-response activities in the classroom.

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.



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


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.


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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