How Online EdTech Platforms Can Strengthen Formative Assessments

Incorporating formative assessments in your classroom to see how students are learning in real-time can often feel like an insurmountable challenge. While we can agree that understanding your student’s comprehension is important, there are many questions and concerns for a teacher when implementing formative assessments. 

How do you find the time to incorporate these assessments? How do you truly know your students are understanding the key topics? How do you know which students are ready to move on and which ones are not? How do these assessments frame the next lesson?

Integrating the right tech education platform can take the guessing game out of formative assessments and provide teachers with a quick, easy, and accurate way to gauge vital student comprehension. The lack of complicated grading systems or point levels, but rather a focus on actual comprehension, allows teachers of any subject to feel confident their students are learning and developing coding skills they will be able to hold onto throughout their education life and into their careers. 

Outside of the importance of knowing what your students are learning, here are three benefits of incorporating formative assessments through tech education:

Free Up Time

It might sound counterintuitive to think adding formative assessments would decrease workload, but that is the case with the right platform. Instead of developing and implementing mechanisms to gauge student comprehension themselves, teachers are able to use a tech education platform like a classroom management system.

For Alicia Johal, Middle School Robotics Teacher & Assistant Director of Center for Innovation at the San Diego Jewish Academy, the real-time assessments offered by BSD Education in the classroom have opened the door for her to engage with students in a productive way and let her do what she does best… teach.

“I can go in at any time of the day and check and see what project a student is on, what step they are on, how long they’ve spent on that step, and basically see how they are doing in the class,” said Johal.

Improve Dialogue and Collaboration

While students use an online, self-guided platform, teachers like Alicia can take a quick glance at the platform to accurately understand where and when to appropriately spend their efforts helping students. Not only can this help identify possible issues students are having, it can increase meaningful dialogue between a teacher and students as well as collaboration between students themselves.

“I’ve never talked to my students so much while they’re coding and that is really powerful,” said Johal. “Not only for their comprehension, but they are also talking about it. That sort of dialogue is so powerful and I think that’s why they’re remembering more than what I see them remember with other programs.”

Increase Student Engagement

With a tech education platform’s ability to provide instant feedback for a student through formative assessments, this feedback can play a significant role in maintaining student engagement. For Alicia’s students, the consistent feedback and progress displayed has helped them focus and overcome obstacles.

“They’re getting these little prompts after each step when they do it correctly and I feel like it’s an intrinsic motivation,” said Johal. “They see their progress and movement within each class period. I keep getting surprised that they don’t get bored or complain and I think it’s the interface, how it feels when they finish, and that they get to see how they’re doing all the time that makes a big difference.”

As classroom sizes grow, utilizing time efficiently has never been more important for teachers. Tech education and BSD has the ability to empower educators of any subject or experience level to incorporate effective formative assessments that ensures students walk away with digital skills they can use for the rest of their life. 

Learn how you can partner with BSD Education today and begin helping your students develop 21st century skills.

about Brent
Brent is the Marketing Manager at BSD. He works on outreach efforts to help educators discover and utilize what BSD offers.
Brent graduated from the University of Oregon in 2009 with a BA in Journalism. He began as a reporter covering the Florida Legislature and state elections. Brent then moved into a marketing role with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety where he worked as a graphic designer, technical writer, and social media marketer for nearly ten years.

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BSD Education (Build Something Different) partners with schools to bring technology education into K-12 classrooms through our programs of learning, online learning platform and professional development training.

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