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Technology to Facilitate Ongoing Efforts to Assess Student Learning

Introduction:
There is little doubt that ever increasing class sizes, and fewer
teachers, is putting a strain on the amount of time teachers have to
accomplish the tasks that are critical to the success of their students.
Assessing student competency, collecting that data and analyzing the data
in order to use it effectively has been, in the past, both time consuming and
exhausting. However, according to Salpeter, teachers cannot deny that
collecting, managing, analyzing, and learning from a wide variety of data is
an important part of K-12 education (As cited in Haertel, Means & Penuel,
2007). Technologies such as, Survey Monkey, MimioVote, and PollDaddy
allow teachers to accurately assess, their students, manage and analyze the
data and adjust their lesson plans to maximize their time and effort.
Technology to Facilitate Ongoing Efforts to Assess Student Learning
According to John Dewey “If we teach today’s students as we taught
yesterday’s we rob them of tomorrow” (As cited in Kaiser& Wisniewski, 2012,
Pg.145). Technology cannot and should not take the place of a good teacher
however, it can be a good tool to assess student learning. For many years
teachers have spent hours creating quizzes and tests, standing at the copy
machine waiting for them to print, then manually inputting the scores into a
grade book in order to assess the progress of their students. This system was
time consuming and inefficient. Technologies such as Survey Monkey,

MimioVote and PollDaddy streamline this process and make it more efficient.
Now teachers can create a quiz, have their students take the quiz and within
minutes have the results, therefore, giving the teacher more time to examine
the data and establish a diversified lesson plan. Another advantage of using
technology for formative and summative assessments is the ability to save
the information for future reference. Being able to compile data and analyze
that data over the course of many years allows a teacher to side step past
gaffes and more effectively use their ability to focus on the lessons that will
make the biggest impact on the success of their students.
Survey Monkey:
Survey Monkey can be used in a classroom in a variety of ways, two of
which are: pre-assessing a student’s prior knowledge and learning about a
student’s interests and hobbies. By creating a ten question quiz, which the
student’s take at the beginning of each subject, a teacher can identify the
educational needs of his/her students and focus their efforts accordingly.
Knowing your student’s is a big part of being able to teach them effectively.
By conducting a survey teacher’s can find out about the likes and dislikes of
their student’s so they can more effectively meet their needs.
MimioVote:
MimioVote Is a wireless system with individual hand held devices,
which allows teachers to do everything from taking attendance to formative
and summative assessments. Using either a projector or a smart whiteboard
teachers can take attendance, and give assessments while students use the

individually numbered handsets to respond to the teacher’s prompts.
Because each handset is numbered and assigned to an individual student
the results of a quiz or a test are logged directly into the grade book
therefore saving the teacher time and energy. By using MimioVote, with the
push of a button, teachers can collect and process student data in a matter
of minutes.
PollDaddy:
PollDaddy is a fun and easy way to do formative assessments. Whether
you are wanting to know what your student’s knowledge level is before
starting a subject, how they are progressing, or simply their likes and dislikes
PollDaddy can be a valuable tool. By creating five to ten question quizzes or
polls teachers, can draw conclusions as to what subject matter their students
understand and what subject matter might need more of their attention.
Conducting polls, can give a teacher insight into how to better understand
the learning styles of individual students therefore making the learning
process more productive and enjoyable for both the teacher and the student.

Formative and Summative Assessments
Formative and summative assessments can be differentiated by
understanding their scope, weight, and purpose. A formative assessments
purpose is to facilitate the process of learning therefore it has a limited scope
and weighs little or not at all on a student’s final grade. A summative
assessments purpose is to assess the amount of information the student has

learned, therefore it has a wide scope, and weighs heavily on the students
overall final grade. Survey monkey and PollDaddy are good tools for
formative assessment allowing teachers to make short quizzes and assess
student progress. MimioVote can be used for summative assessments and
because it has the ability to post student results into the grade book it saves
the teacher time and effort.
Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Assessment
It is always important to examine the pros and cons when deciding the
usefulness of any system of learning assessment. Two major pros of using
assessment technology are: 1. the ability of technology to save teachers
time and effort and 2. The ability of technology to be more accurate and less
biased. Because computers can automatically grade tests and quizzes,
compile the results and post those results directly to a teachers grade book,
teachers spend less time doing paperwork. Computers also compile data
without the stresses a teacher faces on a daily basis, which makes it
completely unbiased and unaffected by human emotion and fatigue.
Two of the major cons are: 1. Cost, and 2. Scope. Many school districts
are either running in the red or barely able to purchase the bare necessities,
in order for them to be able to purchase the needed hardware, software, and
the training needed to use the software effectively is just not in the budget.
Secondly, computerized tests are limited in the scope of what they can
assess. For example, when writing essays students need to be graded for

content, and creativity as well as punctuation and spelling in the first two
disciplines technology falls short of achieving the desired outcome.

“Should a teacher only use technology to assess student learning?
Why or why not?”
It is this writer’s belief that, even though technology will save teachers
time and energy when it comes to assessment, it should not be the only
means of assessment. Because all students learn differently, according to
the theory of multiple intelligences, it would be a mistake to assume that all
students should be assessed in the same manner. Using all eight MI
approaches not only helps students learn but also opens the doors to
multiple assessment options, both of which benefit the students (Adcock,
2014). While seeking easier less time consuming options for assessment,
educators should not forget that the overall goal is to be inclusive of every
student therefore, giving each and every student the best education
possible.

What is the importance of assessment technology in connection
with the ISTE STANDARDS?
According to the ISTE standards teachers are required to develop a
variety of formative and summative assessments and use the resulting data
to help them better teach their students. In order to accomplish this task it
will be imperative that instructors use technology to both create

assessments and compile the data in an efficient and organized manner.
Teachers already have many tasks to accomplish being able to assess, grade
and see the overall results of these assessments in the least invasive and
time consuming way is paramount to their students success. Students also
can benefit from technology when it comes to the ISTE standards. Students
are required to collect and analyze data in order to identify and make
informed decisions. In the past this would be an arduous task using books
and taking notes, however using the internet finding, extracting and
synthesizing information has become much more efficient. Both students and
teachers can utilize the benefits of technology to meet ISTE standards.

Concluding Paragraph for Software to Support Assessment
From creating assessments to compiling and utilizing the data received
from those assessments, technology has given teachers a way in which to
work more efficiently in the classroom. Even though assessment technology
such as Survey Monkey, MimioVote, and PollDaddy should never take the
place of a good instructor nor should they be the only method of
assessment, they are good tools if used appropriately in the classroom. In
the same way that a carpenter would not use a hammer to drive in a screw,
it is important that instructors understand how each student learns and use
the appropriate tool to both differentiate instruction and assessment. It is
important to remember that even though technology is a big part of the

educational process, the goal remains the same, to give our students the
best education possible, by whatever means available.
References
Adcock, P. K. (2014). The Longevity of Multiple Intelligence Theory in Education. Delta Kappa
Gamma Bulletin, 80(4), 50-57.
http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=a9h&AN=96688866&site=eds-live&scope=site
Haertel, g. d., means, b., & penuel, w. (2007). Technology Tools for Collecting, Managing, and
Using Assessment Data to Inform Instruction and Improve Achievement. Yearbook Of
The National Society For The Study Of Education (Wiley-Blackwell), 106(2), 103-132.
doi:10.1111/j.1744-7984.2007.00117.x
http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=ehh&AN=27744018&site=eds-live&scope=site
ISTE STANDARDS, STUDENTS. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/istestandards/standards-for-students
ISTE STANDARDS, TEACHERS. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/istestandards/standards-for-teachers
Kaiser, C. M., & Wisniewski, M. A. (2012). Enhancing Student Learning and Engagement Using
Student Response Systems. Social Studies Research & Practice, 7(3), 137-149.
http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=ehh&AN=90529456&site=eds-live&scope=site