By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D
Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.
In Part Two of our series on interactive slides, we are going to be discussing formative assessment. By the end of this post about this topic, you will have three to five go-to formative assessment strategies to try using on Pear Deck and Nearpod. These strategies will help amplify how you assess your students, provide feedback, and monitor and adjust your instruction.
What is Formative Assessment?
Formative assessments are opportunities for you to see whether students are learning in real-time. These assessments do not have to be for a grade. They can simply be an opportunity for you to see in a short segment of time in your lesson whether individual students, groups of students, or your entire class is understanding what you are teaching them. With this data collected in real-time, you can then monitor and adjust your instruction to help and support your students. Also, you can provide feedback to your students verbally or covertly during this time. This can help point them in the right direction during and after the assessment has taken place.
Interactive Slide Formative Assessment Strategies
There are several formative assessment strategies we will review along with a screenshot demonstrating each. Be sure to review the getting started professional development links for learning how to build Pear Deck and Nearpod slideshows in Google Slides.
Quickwrites and free response questions can be incorporated throughout your lesson to assess your students. You utilize them to activate prior knowledge and to review concepts from the previous class. Or, you can ask students throughout class open-ended questions they can respond so you can determine whether they are understanding the task ahead. Another way open-ended questions can be deployed during your lesson is at the end of the class session. You can ask students to summarize what they learned at the end of class as well as provide a question they may have and where they want to take their learning to next.
During the time students are providing responses, you can give them overt feedback in the form of verbal responses or covertly in written text. On Pear Deck, you can provide written responses directly onto their response, which students can see immediately.
Multiple choice can be utilized at any point in your lesson to assess your students. Multiple choice can be traditional A, B, C, D, True/Fale, or students can draw a circle around a specific answer choice. What’s great about Nearpod and Pear Deck is that they show how students are doing in real-time. You can see which students got the question correct and incorrect so once the assessment is over, you can quickly determine discrepancies in the answers provided by students.
Matching & Retrieval Practice with Flashcards
Matching and digital flashcards is a great form of retrieval practice, which helps our students take information from their long-term memory as they practice words and concepts they have learned. This can be a form of assessment to determine how well your students remember various terms, facts, and concepts they have learned in your class.
There are two forms of matching and flashcards that have been provided: Nearpod Matching and Pear Deck Flashcards. Each is an interactive option on Nearpod and Pear Deck. However, the Pear Deck form of flashcards is a different avenue in the application you will have to learn versus building interactive slides. Yet, each of these activities is engaging and Universal Design for Learning friendly as it provides multiple modalities for your students to take in and process the information provided.
Learn more about Matching on Nearpod by watching this YouTube video.
There are two forms of matching and flashcards that have been provided: Nearpod Matching and Pear Deck Flashcards. Each is an interactive option on Nearpod and Pear Deck. However, the Pear Deck form of flashcards is a different avenue in the application you will have to learn versus building interactive slides. Yet, each of these activities is engaging and Universal Design for Learning friendly as it provides multiple modalities for your students to take in and process the information provided. Above you will see the Nearpod matching activity and below you will see the Pear Deck vocabulary flashcard activity.
Problem Solving Performance-Based Formative Assessments
The last form of formative assessment using interactive slides is problem-solving, which is a performative-based assessment. What this means is giving your students an open-ended problem or a problem that has a single solution where they must show their work and understanding as they solve the problem at hand. This can include a math problem, completing a grammar and punctuation problem, a short essay, or summarizing a task. Ultimately, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can do. Generally, when using Pear Deck or Nearpod, you create drawing slides for these performative-based assessments. These types of slides give you a multitude of options for your students to interact with the assessment question you have provided.
Formative Assessment is a Powerful Strategy for Interactive Slides
Formative assessment is a great strategy to utilize while using interactive slides. Many options are there for you to see how your students are doing, provide feedback and use data to drive your instruction. Both Pear Deck and Nearpod provide a platform for this strategy to be amplified! Take advantage of it, experiment, and see how it can impact your instruction and the learning of your students.