Friday, January 27, 2017

Alternative Assessment: Quizzing Using Technology

             In all of my education classes thus far, we have spent some time discussing alternative forms of assessment. It seems so effortless for the English, history, and art education majors to form a long list of assessment options. However, it truly feels like mathematics is the most difficult class to avoid using tests and quizzes as a method for assessing students’ understanding of material. I do not think tests and quizzes should be ruled out altogether but I agree that other forms of formative and summative assessment should be used. This brings me to what we talked about this week in Math 371: online quizzes. Can online quizzes be considered an alternative form of assessment? Yes, and here’s why.
              As a class, we took quizzes on the app called Socrative, Google Forms, and Quizziz. Though we did not use Kahoot! this week because we were all familiar with this app, we did discuss the pros and cons of it. Each one of these apps/websites can record the quiz results for the teacher to analyze and decide which questions were toughest and what material needs more work. Google Forms was the most quiz like out of the four online forums listed above. However unlike a paper-pencil quiz, I did not feel pressured or anxious while taking the quiz on Google Forms. I think Google Forms would be excellent to use as formative assessment. It allows for multiple choice, short answer, true/false, and a few other options for question types. By letting the students know that there will not be a grade or score associated with their results, Google Forms will feel more like a survey than a quiz and it will allow you to see where more attention is needed.
              The app Socrative was the second most quiz-like in my opinion. However, this app offers a few features (that we did not have time to explore) that turn quizzing into more of a game and it offers an “exit ticket” option. Again, the pressure nonexistent while using this app to quiz. Socrative is meant to be used for formative assessment and allows for instant feedback. That is the key component that allows me to consider Socrative an alternative form of assessment to paper-pencil quizzes. As you use the app to quiz, you’ll find that it is an interactive learning experience with instant feedback as well as a tool for assessment. Here is the link to the website where you can watch a demo video:
              I am going to write about Quizziz and Kahoot! together because they both transform the classroom into “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. The competitive side of me loves this! These two methods of quizzing were my favorite because I love playing games in class. Some of my classmates were not a fan of the fact that they both use time as a factor of score. The faster you answer, the more points you earn. For this reason, questions can’t be long and I would not use these for assessing knowledge of multiple step problems. We also liked the fact that Quizziz displays memes after each question that made us chuckle and forget we were taking a quiz. One of my classmates mentioned that Kahoot! was overused in a class he took in a previous semester. I think it’s important to be aware of how often you use any of these online quizzing tools because they can become mundane just like paper-pencil quizzes. I would use either Quizziz or Kahoot! to review for a test. Everyone can take the quiz together and the teacher can control when to move on to the next question. This allows for pausing for solutions and general questions that the students may have. The teacher receives all results to see who is ready for the test and who is not.

              I really think you can’t go wrong with any of the technology based assessments listed above. They all offer pros and cons as do all different forms of technology and assessments! So if you’re looking for ways to eliminate some paper-pencil quizzes and add some variety to your math classroom assessments, give one of these a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below.