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3 Examples of formative assessments that work

January 19, 2024Nearpod Team

Ask any principal or school leader about the types of metrics where they would like to see improvement, and it’s likely that both student engagement and student achievement will be on that list. In general, formative and summative assessments are used during the learning process to check student progress and help students better understand where they’re at compared to where they need to be. These assessments can look like polls, multiple-choice quizzes, discussions, one-on-one conversations, or any other activity where a teacher checks in on student learning.

Tools like Nearpod can be used by teachers to facilitate this process and allow for the quick and easy collection of formative assessment data. In turn, this data can be used to make a variety of improvements and adjustments to their lessons.

New to Nearpod? Teachers can sign up for free below to access these resources, interactive activities, and engaging lessons. Administrators can schedule a call with an expert to unlock the full power of Nearpod for schools and districts.

3 Examples of formative assessments that work

1. Check for student understanding

One of the best ways to get started using formative assessments is to simply check in on how students understand a certain topic.

Teachers can check for students’ abilities and understanding with Nearpod by using Polls, Quizzes, Collaborate Board, Time to Climb, Open-ended questions, and Draw It’s. As soon as students submit their responses, teachers will have an instant snapshot of their student’s understanding of a particular topic.

Poll formative assessment
Open-ended question on Nearpod

Teachers are able to capture student thinking from all students within their class, and teachers can even share out student responses with the rest of the class in order to promote discussions and correct misconceptions. This can often be more beneficial than simply calling on a few students to share their responses. Consider using these formative assessment strategies along with a think-pair-share activity.

Jeff Krapels, an English teacher and technology mentor at Northern Valley Regional High School in New Jersey, explains how he uses Nearpod to check in on student understanding while teaching Romeo and Juliet:

“Usually, I will ask students to write down their answers [to discussion questions], and then call on a couple of them to share. Of course, some students will always be eager to participate, and some are more reticent. With Nearpod, though, you have the ability to see every student’s response to the questions you ask, and then the capability to share an individual student’s responses to every student laptop (this is anonymous, so it is up to the teacher if he or she wants to tell the class whose response it is).”

Draw It activity
Time to Climb educational game activity

2. Collect student drawings and annotation screenshots

In addition to checking for student understanding through the use of Quizzes, Polls, and Open-ended questions, teachers can also encourage students to submit annotated photos and screenshots through Draw It.

This can be useful in collecting formative assessment data from activities like science labs, graphic organizers, math problems, exit tickets, design challenges, or even during field trips!

Chris Loat and Janice Novakowski, teachers in Richmond School District, explain how they used this idea to support their colleagues across the district. One formative assessment example for elementary comes from using Nearpod in a math class:

“In this Math lesson, students provided their responses [through Nearpod] in two different ways: 1) Students completed the work in their notebook and took a photograph of their response, often circling the answer to highlight it;  2) Other students took a photograph of the hundredths grid and then annotated it on the iPad before submitting it to their teacher.”

Nearpod Draw It Examples

3. Use post-session reports as actionable insights

Finally, teachers can use formative assessment data collected through Nearpod to generate reports and create actionable insights. All formative assessment data collected through Quizzes and Polls in Nearpod will automatically be formatted into graphs so teachers can instantly visualize performance and understanding across their class. This data can also be downloaded or exported so teachers can access it later or share it with others.

Educators can use insights from the reports to determine areas where students excel or struggle, identify patterns in learning gaps, tailor their teaching methods to better suit individual or small group needs, and make informed instructional decisions. Additionally, these insights can aid in adjusting curriculum pacing, providing differentiated instruction, offering personalized support, and fostering a more effective and engaging learning environment when assessing students. This is crucial for teaching and learning as it can help improve students’ learning outcomes.

Nick Acton, Primary Apple Specialist Trainer and Apple Curriculum Coordinator at JTRS, explains how this can be beneficial:

“When [students] have finished a quiz, Nearpod will automatically create a report for you. You can access the reports directly through the app and download the data as a PDF overview, a CSV file, as well as reports on individual students. This really helps [teachers] gain a completely comprehensive understanding of [their] class’ ongoing progress.”

Nearpod student reports details

Start using these formative assessment examples in your classroom

Nearpod is a beneficial tool to facilitate the collection and use of formative assessment data in the classroom. This use of additional formative assessments strategies can also have major classroom benefits and help lead to increased student engagement and achievement.

New to Nearpod? Teachers can sign up for free below to access these resources, interactive activities, and engaging lessons. Administrators can schedule a call with an expert to unlock the full power of Nearpod for schools and districts.

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