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.

Common Sense Selection


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: It's great for creating unique interactive lessons customized for every learner, but it might not be accessible for every student.

Common Sense Selection


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.


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.

Complex interactive whiteboard offers a full instructional experience

Bottom line: Impressive, unparalleled versatility makes this more of an instructional platform than a whiteboard, but it'll require a lot of up-front work to get comfortable.


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

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.


Versatile polling/presentation tool boasts great question variety

Bottom line: This tool supports student-centered teaching by pushing real-time participation/feedback beyond simple polls and multiple-choice questions.


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


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.


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.


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.


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: This cleverly designed tool enables teachers to gather a variety of student response types and offer individualized feedback.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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 and Feedback


Attach, translate, and transcribe audio comments in G Suite

Bottom line: If you already use Google Workspace, this simple add-on can make it easier to send comments and feedback to students in the virtual space.


Collaborative feedback platform helps teachers target, students respond and revise

Bottom line: Time-saving tool allows teachers to gain valuable insights into student learning while providing more personalized feedback and scaffolded supports.


Asynchronous audio response tool encourages all students to speak up

Bottom line: This tool offers classrooms a space for short, impactful voice-based discussions, but it's lacking some key ways to modify the experience.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative LMS platform helps manage classes, groups, and projects

Bottom line: Educators will likely find that the wide variety of features Teams offers is worth the time it takes to learn how to use it.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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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