Like many teachers, I’ve been using summer vacation to reflect on this past year, and brainstorm ways to make next year better. One of the best tools I discovered this past year was the website and assessment tool, formative. Formative helped me meet my goals for last school year, which were:
- streamline my assessments to have more time with students
- focus more on student mastery of content
- create more authentic assessments
I have never found an assessment tool/technology that is so customizable. I love that I can change the scoring settings to let students immediately get feedback, and then allow them to edit their responses when I want to focus on mastery.
Another great feature is how much teachers can interact with the assessment. I can watch students complete the formative in real time, see what they’re doing well and give immediate help on questions they’re struggling with. I can also pause the class at that very moment if I see they are all struggling with a concept. Before discovering this tool I had to wait until I had already graded their assessment and their scores were already put in the gradebook. Now I can help them refine the skill and give them another chance to show what they have learned. I also appreciate that I can edit the automatic scoring to give partial credit, and I can also set multiple correct answers to account for special characters and accents (I teach German and very few assessment tools offer those features).
Giving assessments that are authentic and test real-world interactions with the language and culture is a huge part of my curriculum as a language teacher. Formative has added so many options for types of questions and prompts, I can now add pictures, like the school schedule shown below for students to interact with, and I just read on twitter that I can now embed videos, sound recordings, and interactive reading passages. These new tools will give me even more ways to improve my instruction next year. The creators and moderators of formative are so helpful and communicate often with users. I have had such a positive learning experience with this program and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Formative recently created a community for teachers to collaborate and share resources, find me in the community! – Claudia Riedy