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Reginald D.

Poole
EDU 225: Instructional Technology
October 21, 2015
Instructor Biba John
Technology to Support Assessment
Teachers depend on assessments to gather data about student performance and to drive
their instruction. Assessments are also used to determine instructional groups and necessary
interventions. Formative assessments are used to monitor the progress of students and gage
whether or not students are actually learning. These tools can look different depending on the
classroom but are all designed to give teachers feedback that can determine how instruction is
delivered. Examples of formative assessments include: concept maps, submitting sentences to
identify the main points of a lecture, turning in research proposals for early feedback and having
students use clickers to respond to questions (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, 2015). On
the other hand, summative assessments are higher stakes tests that show what a student has
learned over time. These tests are typically given at the end of units and can be in the form of
midterm exams, final projects, senior recitals or research papers (Eberly Center for Teaching
Excellence, 2015).
Technology can be used to facilitate both formative and summative assessments through
the use of interactive websites, technology tools and social media. Teachers can use interactive
websites to gather data that can be used to drive instruction. For instance, students can take a
poll, participate in discussion questions similar to exit tickets that are answered in the classroom
and even discuss connections made to the content learned in the classroom. Since many students
are comfortable using technology and do not mind typing 100 word responses on social media

this could be a useful tool in the facilitation of learning. There are many educational websites
that allow teachers to administer summative assessments and quickly gather data. Socratic is an
example of such a website that allows teachers to monitor student responses as they are selected
and easily gather item by item data analysis. Web tools like Google Docs and Prezi can also be
used to assess students mastery of content standards and help them to master ISTE standards.
Exposure to technology and allowing students to use technology to complete tasks can be a
powerful method of helping the students to master ISTE standards.
Using technology to assess student learning can be beneficial by allowing flexibility and
differentiation. There is the potential to generate tests that are differentiated for learner ability,
tests that can be completed outside of the classroom, and test that accommodate people with
physical disabilities (Laborda, 2015). Many students view the implementation of technology as
a novel idea and are more engaged when activities or tests include technology. Using clickers or
QR codes to assess students does not create the same feeling of apprehension that giving a
multiple choice assessment may give even if students are responding to the same types of
questions.
Although using technology to assess student learning can be a win-win for students and
teachers it should not be the only method used to assess student learning. Many students use
some form of technology every day but that does not mean that all students are proficient in its
use. Also, some students need to feel the pencil in hand and work problems out on an actual test.
Varying the tools to deliver instruction allows the teacher to cater to different learning styles. A
recent article suggests that the level of feedback provided with technology based assessments
influences the level of learning that takes place in a course (Vaughn, 2013). If a teacher is only
using technology based assessments and is not providing adequate feedback the student will not

develop a deeper understanding of the content, will not receive clarification of incorrect answers
and will not value the assessment beyond a means to earn a grade.
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References

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. Formative vs Summative Assessment - Teaching


Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University. (2015).
Retrieved October 22, 2015, from
https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/formative-summative.html
Laborda, J.G., Sampson, D.G., Hambleton, R.K., & Guzman, E. (2015). Guest editorial:
Technology supported assessment in formal and informal learning. Journal of
Educational Technology & Society, 18(2), 1-2.
Vaugh, N. (2013). Investigating How Digital Technologies Can Support a Triad-Approach for
Student Assessment in Higher Education. Canadian Journal of Learning and
Technology, 39(3).