By: Desirée Sasko Sujoy, Director, Education Consultant, Teaching & Learning Team
Knowing how well our students understand the material we are teaching throughout the instructional cycle is critical to positive culture in the classroom as well as achievement outcomes. It can be structured more like a conversation and less intimidating than a typical ‘assessment’. After all, the idea behind Formative Assessment is to ‘form’ our next steps as the architects of instruction for our students.
Science Techbook contains a variety of resources to allow a constant loop of communication and feedback throughout a Concept or Unit. There are TEIs, or Technology Enhanced Items, which provide real time data on what students understand in the Engage and Explore sections. This data populates in the Teacher (and Student!) Dashboards to ensure that access to data exists throughout the 5E cycle. The TEIs include 29 item types that give students experience with computer based testing environments, in addition to the continuous flow of data, thereby expanding their comfort level.
Additionally, the Explain tab in Science Techbook provides another set of data in the Teacher and Student Dashboards as students demonstrate their understandings through writing about the knowledge they’ve acquired. The rubrics on written responses ensure that students know what is expected from their response. Students receive important feedback from Science Techbook itself and additionally through the feature of submitting teacher feedback through the Dashboard so that we are personalizing the ‘conversation’ we’re having.
The Elaborate tab in Science Techbook gives us the opportunity to see what our students know when faced with the application of their newly acquired knowledge to a new situation in a high cognitive complexity/DOK scenario. This step is incredibly important to monitor before a summative assessment because there is still time for remediation activities to ensure understanding and set our students up for success. Of course, Assessment Builder is one more way to formatively assess our students, especially since we can pick standards based questions.
By making these data driven decisions using the Dashboard, we have the ability to quickly provide differentiated activities and resources within Science Techbook to address our students’ needs. The Explore More Resources section provides a wealth of multimodal resources to support our students. Peer collaboration while revisiting information can spark new understandings as they collaborate during activities. Students have the ability to monitor their own progress and take more responsibility for their learning through continuous access to feedback and data.