A quick response formative assessment tool – Plickers

Looking for a formative assessment response tool that does not require your students to have an iPad, PC or laptop? Looking for a tool that still allows you to collect and collate students responses quickly?

Plickers does not require students to have their own device only the teacher. Students need a paper response card to hold up for the teacher to scan using their phone. The paper response cards are free and downloadable from the Plicker’s website.

Below is a Plickers student response card. You will notice that when you set up your classes in Plickers that each student is assigned a number. It is important the student has the correctly numbered card. The card below is card number 1. After a question has been asked the student holds the card up with the letter that they think corresponds with the correct answer at the top. On the card below the letter ‘B’ is at the top. The teacher walks around and scans each card collating all student responses quickly and seeing which students answered correctly or incorrectly. Card sets can be used with multiple classes for example card number 1 can be used across four different classes for four different students.

The videos below shows how to set up an account, classes, questions and scan response cards as well as demonstrating the use of Plickers in a classroom.

 

Plickers Tutorial 2016 Formative Assessment Tool

 
See how a teacher uses Plickers to identify students pre knowledge about a topic before beginning a unit of work

Professional Reading from Facebook and Twitter Part 14

Reading number 1

Blog: Edutopia

Blog post: 22 Powerful Closure Activities Teachers use closure to:

  • Check for understanding and inform subsequent instruction
  • Emphasize key information
  • Tie up loose ends
  • Correct misunderstandings

Posted on Facebook by  Edutopia

Reading number 2

Blog: Mind Shift – How we will learn

Blog post: Beyond Working Hard: What Growth Mindset Teaches Us About Our Brains

Posted on Facebook by  MindShift

Reading number 3

Blog: MLTS (Most likely to succeed)

Blog post: Failure and Growth Mindset (a video not just for understanding the importance of failure but allowing us to reflect on our own attitude towards failing – do we shutdown or retry?

Posted on Twitter by  @martinwestwell

Professional reading from Facebook and Twitter Part 13

Reading number 1

Source: You Tube

You Tube Video: How you can be good at math, and other surprising facts about learning | Jo Boaler

Posted on Twitter by  @TurraNick

Reading number 2

Blog: Teacher Solutions

Blog post: To Mark or not to Mark, that is the question

Posted on Facebook by  Karen Cornelius in the group Share Network for the Australian Curriculum, SA – SNAC SA

Reading number 3

Blog: Global Digital Citizen Foundation

Blog post: Giving Student Feedback: 7 Best Practices for Success

Posted on Facebook by  Brenton Wilson in the group TfEL Teachers’ Companion

Planning for assessment of and for student learning

How we design our assessment tasks determines the quality of information we get back from our students. In turn, this impacts on how well we can then move our students forward and assess and report on student achievement to parents. Planning for assessment of and for student learning is a key part of the Learning Design process.

Learning Design

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When planning for assessment of and for learning we need to consider what strategies we will use to allow students to demonstrate their learning.

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Note: Formative assessment (assessment for learning) is any assessment used at the beginning of and during instruction to check student understanding with the purpose of moving students learning forward. Formative assessment includes self assessment and peer assessment practices. Summative assessment is any assesment that is used to make a final judgement or assign a grade for the purpose of reporting student performance to parents.

We need to ensure that our formative and summative assessment tasks:

  • Allow us to identify the next step in the learning process.
  • Allow students to present learning in different ways.
  • Allow students to present their learning in a way that supports them. For example, a drawing, video or audio explanation may be more appropriate than a written explanation for a student with low-level writing skills.
  • Directly connect with the verbs in the achievement standard. For example, if students are required to “identify and select a range of sources” then the task must provide the opportunity to do this.
  • Allow students to achieve the Standard at an ABOVE level (A or B grade). Closed tasks, like T or F and multiple choice, may be appropriate at times but can limit students ability to deeply explain concepts and show learning at a higher level.
  • Engage students through connections with their own lives and interests where possible (easier said than done).
  • Challenge students to not just find and repeat facts but to analyse, debate, create, evaluate and apply their knowledge to demonstrate understanding.

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Finally, the support we provide students to apply their knowledge and understanding is critical. The environment we create in our classrooms to support student learning goes a long way to determining the depth and level of knowledge students are able to demonstrate.

"The purpose of assessment is to improve learning, inform teaching, help students achieve the highest standards they can and provide meaningful reports on students’achievement." ACT Government Education & Training

To access online professional development in the area of Assessment for Learning click HERE.

Sources

Leading learning – Making the curriculum work for us

ACT Teachers Guide to Assessment

 

Formative Assessment using BaM Video Delay app in PE

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BaM Video Delay is an app that records video and then delays that video for a specified time allowing the athlete to look up after their performance and watch themselves performing a skill or movement sequence.

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There is no need to press record or play back the video. The app continuously replays what is happening in front of the camera on a delay (set by the student or teacher). The app allows you to delay the video being shown so that the student can complete the skill and have time to view their performance. Students then use this feedback to adjust their performance.

The examples in this post are receptions students practicing their overarm throwing technique and year 9/10 students practicing a forehand topspin drive in table tennis.

Below is the process I used for the Receptions and the Year 9/10 students. Part of both processes was to ensure students knew what they are looking for so corrections can be made.

Receptions (overhand throw)

  • Discussion about the importance of the opposite foot stepping forward when throwing.
  • Discussion about what opposite meant and how this related to our hands and feet.
  • I gave a demonstration which was recorded. We played it back on the big screen discussing if I had used my opposite foot and how did we know.
  • The class watched each other perform the skill and then turned to view the big screen and decide if the student had used their opposite foot. Ideally this would be done in smaller groups but as we were learning how the app worked we did it as a class.
  • The Receptions were only looking at one thing: Was the opposite foot used? This was easily visible from watching it live. However the chance to re-watch it and confirm their decision was useful. The app becomes more powerful the more areas of focus you have. If the Receptions had to make multiple decisions, for example, look for the use of opposite foot, standing side on and pointing in the direction of the target after the throw then the delayed video becomes more valuable.
  • While throwing in front of the camera was voluntary no one opted out. In fact, they were pushing each other out of the way to see themselves on the big screen.

Year 9/10 (table tennis – topspin forehand)

  • We viewed a video of a correctly performed topspin forehand. Four major points were taken from the video and written on the white board for students to have as a reference point.
  • The video was viewed twice and the four points discussed before students had a go.
  • Students then watched their performance, had a discussion with me and then had a go at using that feedback to improve.
  • While not all students improved in the limited time available a couple of students surprised themselves with a dramatic improvement in the amount of topspin and power they achieved using this process.

The app allows for a single screen or 4 screens. the receptions used a single screen as they didn’t require multiple views to make their decision. The Year 9/10 students used 4 screens, each delayed slightly more than the other (7 second intervals) allowing each shot to be viewed 4 times one after the other.

This is the first time I have used BaM Video Delay. The app has great potential to be used on a regular basis in physical education classes as a formative assessment tool.

Continuing to develop formative assessment

Thank you to everyone who engaged in the formative assessment activities over the past few weeks. Hopefully being able to read and then discuss peoples ideas, trials, successes and failures over the past 18 months around formative assessment was a useful process. For those staff who were not here when we started our formative assessment focus I hope it has built a picture of where we have been and put into context some of the things we are doing now.

It is great to see and hear that teachers are still thinking about and using formative assessment strategies and acknowledging the importance of these for student learning. Remember, it is about changing your practice in the long term (embedding) not trying a million ideas for 3 weeks and then throwing your hands up and saying, “well that didn’t work!” Select one, maybe two formative assessment techniques and work on them, put time into them and adapt them. Ensure that your practice changes to benefit student learning.

Thanks to the teachers who were willing to share their thoughts in this post about what they are doing in their classrooms for the remainder of this year and into 2016.

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Technology, PE and Assessment for Learning

Dylan Wiliam presents 5 Key Strategies as part of Assessment for Learning.

  1. Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions & success criteria.
  2. Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievements.
  3. Providing feedback that moves the learning forward.
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one and other.
  5. Activating students as owners of their own learning.

These key strategies underpin a wide range of techniques that can be explored in Dylan Wiliam’s book, Embedded Formative Assessment.

For the past 2 years I have continued to develop and trial the use of technology in my PE classes. During term 1 this year I tried to incorporate the use of iPads and an app called Easytag to create an process that allowed Assessment for Learning to occur.

During my 7/8 volleyball and 9/10 badminton classes in term 1 this year I decided to use the iPad app Easytag to allow students to record data relating to their performance. The app allowed the class to record statistics relating to student performance. My 7/8 volleyball class collected data on successful digs, sets, serves and unsuccessful shots with the purpose of creating ratios of successful to unsuccessful shots. This occurred at various points throughout the unit to analyse if performance was improving and in what area. My 9/10 badminton class recorded where their badminton shuttle was landing in their opponents court during a game (front L/R, middle L/R and rear L/R). The purpose was to improve the spread of shots played i.e. not hitting all shots into the mid court. Both groups had to use this data to try and demonstrate improvement over the course of the unit.

9/10 Badminton – The Easytag panel was used by a partner to record a students shuttle placement during a competitive game. The example below is one of four panels recorded during the unit. This data was transferred to a proforma in the student’s PE book allowing for easy comparison. The data shows the student was able to improve their spread of shots to the front and rear of the court during the course of the unit.

Note: The data from the Easytag panels and student proforma below are not from the same student.

Panel (ignore the numbers in the far right column)

Seb set 1

Data from the Easytag app was collated on a single sheet. The aim was for students to improve the spread of shots, not having all shots in one area of the court.

Tiana badminton7/8 Volleyball – Students created panels in the Easytag app that displayed the information seen below on the recording proforma. Data was transferred from the app to this proforma so students could see improvement (or not) over time. The student below could see significant improvement from a ratio of approximately 1 successful to 1 unsuccessful shot at the beginning of the unit to a ratio of 4 successful shots to every unsuccessful shot near the end of the unit.

Cooper Volleyball

 

How has this use of technology helped me to address Dylan Wiliam’s Assessment for Learning Strategies?

Strategy – Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievement

The data was accessible to me on student iPads or in their HPE books for me to view. This information gave me starting points to have discussions with students about what could occur next at a lesson by lesson level. The data provided me with evidence of student learning at three different points during the term.

Reflection – I would have students complete at least one more set of data (most collected 3 data sets) to provide a more constant flow of evidence giving me a better picture of student learning and progress.

Strategy – Provide feedback that moves learning forward

The data was taken at varying points during the unit. The first set of data was taken at the beginning of the unit giving students a starting point to improve on. The second set of data gave students a further reference point indicating if they were heading in the right direction. Explicit teaching, lesson by lesson feedback about how to improve, student commitment and collaboration with peers was required to enable students to successfully use the data.

Reflection – As I have already mentioned I would try to include at least one more set of data during the unit. This would allow students (and me) to access more feedback about their progress at more regular intervals.

Strategy – Helps activate students as instructional resources for one and other

Students showed the data to their partner at the end of each game and quickly discussed strengths and weaknesses. There is no way that I could have assisted all students to collate and receive this amount of data over the course of the unit. Students became resources for each other providing data to move learning forward.

Reflection – I would strengthen these discussions. I did not monitor them closely and suspect that these were not as effective as they could have been. In the future I would include a more formal process of analysis to help students focus on the data more effectively.

Strategy – Activate students as owners of their own learning

Students had concrete data to work with. They could see areas of weakness i.e. I have no successful serves (7/8 volleyball) or I have not been able to hit any shots into the rear court (9/10 badminton). Students were encouraged to use this information to focus on how they could improve (own the learning).  It was entirely up to them to demonstrate through the data their learning over the course of the unit.

Reflection – While students were required to take ultimate responsibility to use the data to try and improve I needed to get around to students more regularly and have conversations about their data to help them direct there own learning.

QUESTION NUMBER 1 – How do you address the following key strategies of assessment for learning?

  1. Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions & success criteria.
  2. Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievements.
  3. Providing feedback that moves the learning forward.
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one and other.
  5. Activating students as owners of their own learning.

QUESTION NUMBER 2 – What techniques do you have at your disposal to address the 5 key strategies of Assessment for Learning?

1. Click HERE to read more about Assessment for Learning and access a range of techniques to help improve your ability to formatively assess your students.

Teacher Sharing – Formative Assessment

After attending Dylan Wiliam’s conference at the beginning of 2014 teaching staff decided that formative assessment would be a focus area for improving teaching practice at Port Broughton Area School.

As all teaching staff have now had the opportunity to see Dylan Wiliam in person (Joelene, Tyler, Beth and Margaret this term) it is a good opportunity to reflect of our formative assessment practices in the classroom and share with each other what we are doing in this area.

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If you have not already read them or you are unsure about a particular strategy here are a series of posts that remind us about the 5 Key Strategies required for formative assessment. Each post in itself is quite short (5-8 minutes will be enough time to read them all). There are links within each post that take you to more detailed information.

  1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success
  2. Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  3. Activating students as owners of their own learning
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one another
  5. Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning

By the end of the term it would be great to have all teaching staff contribute to this sharing/discussion through the comments section of this post. Select one strategy below and share your practice in this area with others.

Suggestion – Write your comment in a Word document and save your writing. Then copy and paste from the Word document into the comments section of this post.

Select 1 of the following and discuss how you address this strategy in your classroom. Your discussion could focus on processes you use to address this strategy as well as successes and deficiencies in this area.

  • Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success
  • Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  • Activating students as owners of their own learning
  • Activating students as instructional resources for one another
  • Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning

What can you do in the classroom to assess were your students are at?

Dylan Wiliam presents 5 Key Strategies for Assessment for Learning. Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning is one of these.

What techniques do we employ in our classrooms to understand where our students are at and therefore how to move them forward?

The following information is from an article titled Planning for classroom activities that tell you what your students know.

  1. The teacher needs to see what all the students are doing.
  2. Check part way through lessons so you can still fix things.
  3. Check at a glance for what you will teach next.

To be able to do these things teachers need to have a variety of go to tools they can use to help them assess were students are at. Click HERE to find out about a wide range of tools that can be used to find out about where your students are at.

A short article titled Formative Assessment – the Minute by Minute, Day-by-Day Kind.

Why activate students as learning resources for one and other?

Dylan Wiliam presents 5 Key Strategies for Assessment for Learning. Activating students as instructional resources for one another is one of these.

The following information is from the following article Activating Learners as Instructional Resources.

Why should we develop our students ability to help other students?

  1. Motivation: The teacher structures the process so it is in a student’s interest to help others.
  2. Social Capital: Students perception of their value to others increases.
  3. Better Understanding: When you have to teach others, you have to understand an idea clearly. The stronger students improve by having to teach and the less competent improve because they have a second teacher.
  4. Activating learners as instructional resources for each other clearly helps learning in the short terms because it resolves questions more quickly and provides more feedback, both of which help learning right now.

Click HERE to read how questioning can help students be instructional resources for one and other.