Formative Assessments in PD

Formative assessments are an ongoing way to determine student knowledge and mastery of skills and standards.  A quality formative can allow a teacher to gather a large amount of information in a short amount of time.  The data collected allows the educator to hone in on gaps in student knowledge at both the class and individual levels.

As a trainer, it is important for me to ensure that my teachers are knowledgeable about a wide range of technology tools and practices.  However, this is often difficult to determine at the end of a 40 – 60 minute session.  For this reason, I often introduce topics to my staff in a face to face setting and then assign a formative to be completed within a given time frame.  This allows the staff to review the covered material at their own time and pace, and affords an opportunity for them to show what they know.  I use the results of these formatives to determine the need for future deep dives or flexible small group sessions in order to provide further support on the given topic.

Below is a sample of a formative assessment involving the use of OneNote.  In this example, participants viewed a video and responded in the OneNote Staff Notebook which was the focus of our face to face session.  By reviewing entries made in the staff notebook, I had an immediate sense of those who had mastered using OneNote Staff Notebooks and those who needed more assistance.  Additionally, there was a section in the notebook for questions and requests to get these notebooks in place in the classrooms.