Assessment is an integral part of education. It can be used to evaluate progress, determine next steps, and monitor the learning that is taking place. The definition can differ from person to person, but the goal of assessment should always keep the child at the center of the process. There are two types of assessment that stand out:
-It assesses the learning at the end of a unit or lesson to evaluate the product.
-This type of assessment is usually completed for grades or marks.
-It evaluates the process of learning.
-This type of assessment is used to provide feedback to improve the learning and checks for understanding.
The big difference is that formative assessment is all about “discovering what students know while they’re still in the process of learning,” as Laura Thomas says. This type of assessment is imperative for learning, but can be seen as a challenge when it comes to distance learning. Even though distance learning is facilitated through a screen, there are still strategic ways to check for understanding and use formative assessment.
Distance learning is unique because it allows students to learn at an asynchronous pace in their own home. Providing self-paced instruction through videos and online activities is an important way to engage students in their learning. However, you might be wondering… “how do I assess their learning if I am not with them?”
Fortunately, there are many online tools that allow for formative assessment, as Matt, Trevor and Dalton outlined so well in their presentation about Assessment Technologies last week. Common Sense Education has a list of the “Top Tech Tools for Formative Assessment.” One of the tools that stood out to me was Edpuzzle, an online tool that allows teachers to create or customize videos for their students to interact and engage with.
Before I even got started with Edpuzzle, I was able to read more about it through the Common Sense review site. They break down different areas, such as:
- Learning Rating
- Community Rating
- Privacy Rating
- Subject and Skills
- Pros and Cons
- Tips for Teaching with the Tool
Edpuzzle passed their review with a 4 star learning rating, 5 star community rating, and an 88% privacy rating, as you can see below.
I dove into the Common Sense Privacy Evaluation to get more information on Edpuzzle’s stand on data collection, security, rights, and safety. Even though I felt confident about using the tool after reading the privacy ratings and reviews, I will always check my school’s approved technology list before implementing a new tool with my students. Before you use a site, platform, or app with your class, it’s important to make sure the data, security, and privacy rules line up with your school division’s policies. The tool is not worth using if your student’s privacy is at stake.
Based on the customer reviews, it was clear that Edpuzzle is innovative, efficient, and effective. The platform explains how it works in 3 steps:
- “Find a video on YouTube, upload your own or re-use a video lesson created by another teacher.”
- “Then, edit the video to create your lesson. Record your voice to personalize it, and hold your students accountable by embedding questions in the video.”
- “Assign the video to your students and check their progress in real time while they learn at their own pace.”
I wanted to get a better idea of how the tool worked, so I signed up for the Edpuzzle “Self-Paced Classroom” course that was created in collaboration with the Modern Classrooms Project. It allowed me to use Edpuzzle while learning more about the topic of self-paced learning. It was a great experience!
Here are some Edpuzzle features I loved:
- There are notifications to remind you what assignments need to be worked on and completed.
- It saves all your progress in the “in progress” section.
- There are checkpoints throughout the video to ask questions and keep you engaged.
- The checkpoints can be true or false questions, multiple choice, or even just a “note” to further your learning or give you a link to another site.
- It shows your results at the end of the video assignment.
There’s no doubt about it, this course on Edpuzzle was engaging and informative! I learned so much about the tool itself while hearing a unique perspective on self-paced learning in an online environment.
If you are interested in receiving professional development through Edpuzzle, check out a list of their online courses! Some of their courses include: “Privacy and Security”, “Google Tools”, “Diversity and Inclusion”, and “Tech Integration.” Through their course, I was able to gain valuable insight into Edpuzzle as a formative assessment tool. I encourage you to join me in completing an Edpuzzle course so that you can learn more about it too. You can even get a certificate of completion and a shiny new badge like I did!
It’s important to recognize that formative assessment is still attainable during distance learning, especially with tools like Edpuzzle. Andrew Miller leaves us with these 7 strategies for implementing formative assessment in an online environment:
- Know your purpose
- Collect data over time
- Focus on feedback
- You can check for understanding in synchronous sessions
- Leverage personal conversations
- Check in on students’ well-being
- Make it useful
Formative assessment is an essential piece of distance learning. It may work differently than in the classroom, but in both circumstances it’s important to remember, the student is always at the center.