Formative Assessment Tools


One of our favorite quotes about formative assessment is credited to Bill Younglove, at California State University Long Beach, who says formative assessment is "the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately."

Most likely, formative assessments have always been incorporated into your teaching practice. However, the little ways you and your students check for understanding in your class throughout the learning process may look different in a brick and mortar classroom than they do online.

Most Learning Management Systems come with tools that allow you to create and conduct formative assessments. Assignments that involve students uploading files, completing surveys, polls, and tests are pretty standard as tools included in most Learning Management Systems these days. To add another layer, though, consider incorporating tools that reside outside of your learning management system. Some can be integrated within the learning platform, as well. When used appropriately, these tools can help you and your students check for understanding in any type of learning environment.

Here’s a list of tools that the QM Community finds worth checking into:

  • FlipGrid: Create prompts to promote discussion and student reflection via video.
  • Formative: Gather and act on live student insights, plus track student growth with this highly flexible tool that works for any grade, any subject and on any device. Create multiple types of questions including true/false, multiple choice, show your work, short answer, drawing, essay, and even math blocks.
  • Quizizz: Build your own quizzes, or search through those made by other teachers. Quizzes can be assigned via homework mode for use in asynchronous settings.
  • Turbonote: A chrome extension that will allow your students to take notes and reflect as they watch a video.
  • Kahoot: Create, play and share fun learning games in just minutes with this flexible and simple tool.
  • Answer Garden: This tool for real time learner participation, online brainstorming and classroom feedback will allow you to see if your students see the big concepts and takeaways.
  • Padlet: Use this online virtual bulletin board to collaborate, reflect and share links and pictures.

As always, make sure any tool you use is readily obtainable and protects student privacy, prior to incorporating it into your class. Including the right formative assessments in your online course can help you to meet QM K-12 Specific Review Standards 3.3 and 3.4. Check out those Standards and their Annotations (available to QM Members in MyQM) for more information!