Part 2: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities


Welcome to post number two in a series devoted to formative learning (assessment). In this post I showcase some tools that can assist in both providing interactive quizzes/check ups and useful feedback that is essential in a classroom focused on student centered formative learning. Please keep  in mind these are only tools and are best utilized through the important art of teaching. Do you have some formative tools to share… please let me know and I will share them in an upcoming post. Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

Part 2: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

Getting feedback from students and taking a temperature read on student learning has always has always been important. While technology provides some wonderful opportunities, the teacher’ role in the blended classroom is still of highest importance. The art of teaching, which includes being able to read a students eyes, smiles, and multitude of nonverbal signals is something that technology will try try to imitate, but may never accomplish… at least in the human sense. On the other hand, technology can provide amazing tools that can amplify a teacher’s ability to assess for formative learning. With this in mind I invite you to examine the categories of online quizzes and feedback generators. I include eight resources and invite you to share more so that I can include your voice in a future post. As always be sure to check your district AUP, and read terms of agreement before using a web site. If you missed the first post… than check it out here.

Quiz Based Tools for Formative Learning

  • Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket
  • Game Like
  • Track Individual Students
  • Get Feedback
  • Individual/Group
  • Students Can Create
  • Analyze Data

Why does a quiz… have to be a quiz? Does it need to have a grade? What is the purpose of a quiz? Can a quiz be fun? Can a quiz be something students look forward to? These are all questions I really think are worth some reflection. Making a quiz fun and game like is really not a new idea. We all remember spelling bees and even some analog form of Jeopardy. Technology has allowed educators to take some of that necessary content information and provide some fun learning experiences. Keep in mind that you must take these tools beyond the technology shine.  In fact, a challenge might be to find ways to employ these tools in even higher level learning activities. Perhaps students could even use them as thy produce and create. As an educator we must also go beyond the shine and examine what is under the hood. Be sure to use the data collection and analytic tools provided by these tools that can provide important insight into needed learning activities. As educators we must be deliberate in using the technology to amplify, enhance, and transform learning. While you employ the tools I have listed below, remember that variety is also an important learning component. In other words, be sure to mix up the activities!

Kahoot – Make learning and assessment into a class wide game complete with points and leader boards. Collect data from the group and individuals. This wonderful tool allows teachers to get a quick read on student knowledge and understanding.

Socrative – This amazing formative tool allows the teacher to post questions, polls, and quizzes on the fly with minimal preparation. Collect data on student understanding and even create a video game that allows kid to race to learn.

Quizlet – Create or choose from thousands of ready-made quizzes covering multiple subjects.  You can embed quizzes in a website or send students to a link. Collect formative data as students test their knowledge using any device.

Quiziz – One of the newest in game based quiz programs. Bring the whole class into a competitive learning situation. Allow students to reflect on how they answered question while collecting important data that will help decide future instruction.

Feedback Tools for Formative Assessment

  • Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket
  • Temperature Read
  • Polls
  • Student Voice/Choice
  • Student Can Create
  • Analyze Data
  • Determine Next Step
  • Parents/Community

Formative learning and assessment is all about obtaining feedback throughout the learning process. As an educator it is important to not only acquire the feedback, but to also use it to inform future instruction. Remember that important second half of the definition of formative assessment? If you forgot than be sure to read the prior post. Teachers have always been on the lookout for feedback, whether it is the raise of a hand or the nod of a head. The introduction of interactive whiteboards gave teachers the opportunity to use technology to get temperature reads allowing student learning on the fly. When used properly interactive whiteboards provide some wonderful insight. While the interactive whiteboard still has some great capabilities, the constraints of cost, positioning, and space can be a limiting factor. In the last couple years there has been a multitude of online tools and apps that provide interesting avenues and alternative solutions aimed at providing feedback. These wonderful new tools are a perfect fit for the 1 to 1 classroom and most work in a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) environment filled with a variety of devices.  One advantage in using these tools is that the collected data will be useful in in future facilitation of learning. As with any technology tool it is important to be careful of the shine. I think you might be seeing my theme in integrating tools with learning. Obtaining feedback is only useful if there is also a plan to navigate the proper lanes on the highway of student learning. Please take a look and explore these tools. Even more important, begin to imagine how you can use these to bring voice and choice to your students which will provide important ideas to inform needed and effective instruction.

Answer Garden – This web based tool allows the teacher to ask a question and get feedback from the group. The feedback appears on the web page allowing for a picture of understanding and thoughts. The collected words and phrases can be sent to a world cloud generator such as Wordle or Tagxedo.

Google Forms – Create surveys and question forms that allow for student feedback, voice, and, choice.  Analyze the feedback using a spreadsheet to determine trends and needs. This is also a wonderful tool for students as they collect data for different projects.

Padlet – Think of a website that allows users to place virtual post it notes on the screen. These notes can even contain pictures and links. This tool allows a wonderful way to see thoughts, perceptions, and learning.

Go Soap Box – Get feedback from the class as they provide temperatures reads that reflect their understanding. See how this insight can help shape instruction and future student learning possibilities.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century.  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped and Blended Learning, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100’s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2016 dates.


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4 responses to “Part 2: Over 35 Formative Assessment Tools To Enhance Formative Learning Opportunities

  1. Pingback: Useful links | Rhondda's Reflections - wandering around the Web

  2. Hoa

    Thank you so much for you list of ideas!! I’m on the Common Core Steering Committee at my school for my grade level and I greatly appreciate your formative assessment ideas and the links to the different activities. As we work to revamp the units this year, we are closely evaluating and selecting our readings, assignments, and assessments. We want to want make learning accessible, engaging, and meaningful for all students. Thanks for helping us do our job!!

    • It sounds like you and your school peers are doing some great work. Thanks for the very kind words and ( wish you the best as you make learning more powerful for students. Please feel free to connect at anytime! Have a great school year! … Mike

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