This Week in Formative Assessment

2034235c837a9ea3c9c6ce31cb924455This week touched on a very “trendy” topic in education, formative assessment. Formative assessment is discussed at almost every professional development training, observation, and employment interviews. There are so many ways to do this using a number of tools available online, and most are free.

Formative assessment has always been a rather straightforward way to assess and provide feedback to students, but with the wave of technology streaming into classrooms it has revolutionized the way we assess students using this technology. No longer is the method of walking around with a checklist and clipboard and scanning the room the most efficient way to use formative assessment. Today, the best teachers are able to integrate technology into formative assessment to modify instruction and enhance the learning experience for students.

In the video below, I discuss three formative assessment tools that I use in the classroom.

  1. Kahoot!
  2. Padlet
  3. Google Forms


The best formative assessment tools enable instant feedback and data to modify instruction to benefit students. Teachers new to using technology this way should not try to use every tool in Kathy Dyer’s 50 Digital Education Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success. Teacher focus should be on how the technology will help students reach the learning target, not just using technology just to use it. I personally like to add a technology tool to my toolbox every year, and am already looking into new ways to use technology in formative assessments in the high school business classroom for next school year.

-John V


Week 3: Creating an Infographic


This week we had the chance to create our first infographic in the IT&DML program. At first this appeared to be a daunting task, as I have never created an infographic before and had no idea how to start one. An infographic is a visual image that represents data and information in a creative way.

The task we were assigned was to create an infographic of a topic we feel would be of importance to educators. I decided to choose Benefits and Best Practices in Blended Learning as my topic. With the widespread use of technology among young adults, more districts are moving toward this model of instruction, which combining traditional teaching and learning with the use of online and digital tools to enhance the learning experience for students.

The infographic maker I chose was Piktochart, and boy did I have a big learning curve using this site. I must have spent two hours just trying to fix the sizing of each block so that they were all proportionate to one block per page. This would be my biggest criticism of this site as it was pretty easy to insert text and media, but when it came to formatting the height and width of each block each time you added a new one, it became one difficult process as it kept bringing the previous block onto a preexisting page. If I create an infographic in the future, it is safe to say I will be choosing a different site.

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Click on the following link Infographic: Benefits and Best Practices in Blended Learning to view the full infographic and its links and video.

Reflecting on the infographic as a whole, I would say that this is an extremely authentic tool to utilize in class, utilizing the Redefinition level in the SAMR model. Having students create an infographic allows them to take their knowledge of a subject to a new level, beyond the traditional essay or research paper. Students can creatively show their knowledge on a topic by including several forms of multimedia to display their understanding of a topic, and teach it to their peers.

As I was completing this project so many ideas were going through my mind about how I will utilize this in my classes next year as a means to evaluate my students in a more creative yet authentic way. I thought the rubric that our Professor, Laura Greenstein, provided made it very clear as to the expectations of the assignment. I hope she doesn’t mind, but I will be remixing this rubric with my high school classes next year. This type of assessment is a great way to assess student understanding of curriculum standards as they are covered throughout a course. I am glad I was able to create my own infographic and experience the creative possibilities making an infographic brings.

-John V