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interview with suzi: insider’s view of using technology & formative assessment

Interviewer (I): What is your view on technology and its relationship with formative assessment?

 

Classroom Teacher (C.T): Technology can be a wonderful tool for formative assessment. I use it for small tasks and also use if for two big ‘project’ each year.

 

I: Are you able to provide an example of the ways you use technology for these formative assessments?

 

C.T: I have many examples!! One example I can provide is this; I set up ‘chat-rooms’, forums and wikis in the middle to end of term one, where students are required, or ‘expected’, to make comments on lessons, learning activities and on general class events.

 

I: What do you see as one of the benefits of using technology for formative assessment within the classroom?

 

C.T: The beauty of the E-learning environment is that all students can engage, giving their ideas and opinions, without having to wait their turn to speak as you would in a real-life discussion. Students can engage with each other more comfortably online than in real-life, allowing for all students to engage and give their opinions. Engaging and inclusive education has been, and will continue to be, an essential aspect of education, however, due to the boom in technology, it has been able to be put into practice more readily as all students can now be included, including the quiet, introverted and shy students.

 

I: What has been the most interesting thing you have been apart of, introduced, or seen in regards to technology and formative assessment?

 

C.T: As a matter of fact, I have!! Last year, I was involved in a ‘technology-project’ through MacICT. Within this, my class used trans-media to create a website, which expanded their understanding of the novel we were reading. In small groups (4 students maximum), the students created responses to the ideas in the book. For example, students made a movie, comic, flipbook or a quiz that related to a concept within the novel. These products were amazing, however, the most delightful and surprising aspect of the task was the amount and quality of feedback the students gave each other and received from their audience! The students’ work is available online for them to review as well. 

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I: That sounds incredible! How did the students do this and how did they respond to it?

 

C.T: Students were encouraged to make specific evaluative comments on the elements of others, and/or add their own interpretation of the element question, thus allowing the sharing, ever-living nature of the story to continue. This provided me with a lot of information about the students’ learning!

 

I: Are you able to tell me a little about your class wiki at all?

 

C.T: Of course! I usually set a class wiki at the beginning of Term Two, where students engage in tasks in an online environment. Often times the task is to “add a comment” reflecting on the information from a website, game or activity, or sometimes an idea or concept. The comments they add give me information about what they have learnt about the content, but also their own learning. I also participate in these forums! It allows them to ask me questions and engage in academic conversation, and it is now part of the Australian Curriculum (Objective E in the new Syllabus).

 

I: So these are your formative assessment?

 

C.T: Yes. I use wikis and the work I do with technology in the classroom and homework tasks for formative assessments, however, I use the bigger projects as summative.

 

I: Do you use technology for any other educational purposes in regards to formative assessment?

 

C.T: I use programs such as StudyLadder, Reading Eggs and Mathletics to access data about student performance. It is extremely useful formative assessment, and I would always recommend it!

 

 

 

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