How to be Sure Your EdTech is Helping You Assess Student Progress
There are two popular assessments for evaluating student performance: formative and summative.
Formative evaluation identifies areas of struggle and learning gaps to support students throughout the learning process. Formative evaluation examples include giving weekly quizzes, in-class discussion or homework assignments.
Meanwhile, summative evaluation measures student performance at the end of a unit, course or program. These are often the “big ones” for many students. Think mid-term exams, most standardized tests, unit tests, and final exams.
During traditional school seasons, using both types of assessments in your classroom is easy. Part-and parcel even. However given our nation’s new need for distanced learning, there is a growing divide. Our freedom to teach and fully assess student progress can be limited.
Most online learning softwares favor formative styles over summative. That means many of our fellow educators don’t have the tools to fully measure student performance accurately.
Being dedicated to your students’ growth means you need as much information on their progress as they need feedback to improve. While your school and district decides on a virtual or hybrid learning environment this semester, think about your students. How will they benefit most? Identify their needs.
More than likely, they could benefit from at least two summative assessments. Ensure your platform has the right virtual tools to enable both assessments by creating the same standards, environment, and expectation of academic integrity that you’d have in the live classroom.
Look for These Four Features in your LMS
To assess summative performance, you need the ability to load an exam to a customized testing environment.
This environment must provide features such as roster control, test launch, exam time limit, and individual student status. In this new virtual environment, it’s even more important that educators control the exam process and monitor students from afar.
Monitoring academic integrity is more important than ever. Many students will finish high school in a virtual classroom. Their final exams and grades will impact important future education or employment prospects, depending on their field.
A virtual tool must monitor student screens during the exam to ensure an honest assessment.
Integrated Video Conference Capabilities
While anti-cheating tools have focused on screen lockdown and browser monitoring, we now need to support and provide a presence to every student taking a major exam at home.
Right now, phones, other devices, and family members are more accessible than ever during distance learning. To create the same expectation of a real classroom, you’ll need an Integrated video conference system with live video and sound monitoring during the exam.
Exam Sharing & Reporting
While summative assessments measure student progress at big increments, exam sharing and reporting can help measure an entire district’s knowledge and comprehension.
A virtual tool should provide educators with the ability to share exams with fellow teachers for streamlined testing and reporting. This allows for continuity and, more importantly, reporting across the district.
Take Your Time
We know how difficult education can be for many of our teachers and students. The academic world is rushing to prepare for fall. But try not to rush into using an educational technology that might not truly support your students’ progress.
Long distance learning periods can be challenging. Make them easier with the right edtech platform.
At BrightShift, we’ve created a virtual learning environment for all your online assessment, exam delivery, and virtual classroom needs. You can create your own hybrid learning approach to test both formative and summative performance with ease. No expensive add-ons, installation, or confusing hardware configuration.
Read about BrightShift’s features and see all the ways you can support your students this fall.
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