I love using and exploring formative assessment tools. I am a huge proponent of formative assessment. I believe that formative assessment can take on many looks, but in the end it is a chance for students and teachers to create a dialogue that focuses on the learning process not just summative assessment, that tends to take a snap shot of where one is at a certain time and signifies an end to learning about that concept.
“The word assess comes from the Latin assidere, which means to sit beside. Literally then, to assess means to sit beside the learner.”Source
Here’s an excellent article on the trend that sees a shift to assessment for learning. “Consistent with 21st Century learning and the benefits brought on by better assessment tools, assessment is becoming more student-centric, offering educators the insights that will help them determine the best instructional next steps and how to make learning more personal for the individual student.”
I was fortunate enough when this post prompt came out to find a tweet on formative assessment tools.
I have explore many of them before but the first app on the list, Loop, was something that I was not familiar with. So this gave me an opportunity to explore Loop. This app, developed by a company in Australia, provided a simple way to communicate with students and stay ‘in the loop’. It’s look is clean and simple as it allows you to ask student questions with either a text, rating, emoji, or multiple choice response.
As advertised, this app provides
1) app based on-the-go communication
2) private responses
3) anonymous responses
4) ability to respond quickly and easily
Creating an account was fairly easy to as one could sign up using their Google account. Once in, I was guided how to set up a class, invite students, ask a question, gather results, respond to feedback, and post an announcement (Quick Set Up Guide was provided with videos, how tos, and sign up pdfs).
I was fortunate to have my work place 30 students test out the app with me. It was timely as we were winding down the first quadrant and it was a great opportunity to as for feedback on what they needed help with, how they were feeling, class feedback, and even slipped in what they thought of this app. Overall, students found it easy to sign in either thought the email invite I sent or by using the class code provided. Once logged in, the student found the questions easily and were able to respond. They appreciated the ability to respond anonymously and liked the discussion loop that was created.
Student Reviews of Loop
“I don’t mind using loop, on here I can tell my teacher what I need help with most and how he’s able to help me.”
“I think it is a good way to communicate with you. and a good way to ask questions.”
“It’s good to see what we think about the class and how we are doing.”
“I like loop and I like how the teacher only sees the answer and no one else.”
I used and would continue to use this app (which one could use on a desktop or download on iOS or Android) for simple yet important feedback on how students are feeling either in general or on a topic. I have other tools that are more effective at gauging how they are doing with more specific content. I also wish they had a more apparent ‘dashboard’ button rather than just clicking on the loop logo at the top right of the screen. The anonymous feature is something I like as well, but could see concerns with it as well (great time to teach some digital citizenship). Still the simple set up of the app was a win. It’s not flashy put it does keep one simply ‘in the loop” which is huge for understanding and relationship building.
In my ‘travels’, I stumbled upon this great Chrome extension, YiNotes, which allows one to watch a You Tube video, take notes, and get timestamps / screen shots of when you took the notes. I found a review of Loop and decided to test out this extension on this review.
Check out my video reviews of Loop Desktop Version and the iPhone App
Check out my goformative on how to use goformative, what formative assessment is, and a few other tools