Technology can be used in many ways in the classroom to differentiate instruction, motivate student learning, and monitor student progress. In particular, I love the many free quiz tools that can easily be used in the classroom to both engage and assess students. Here are several of my favorites and their uses in the classroom.
This online multiple-choice quiz maker allows teachers to create their own quiz or review game, or search for someone else’s pre-made quiz. The quizzes can have as many questions as you choose, with up to 4 answer choices per question. This website is very versatile and gives you many options for designing a quiz that fits perfectly for your students. You choose whether students are rewarded points and the amount of time allotted for each question. Additionally, you can add pictures and videos to the introduction, as well as to each individual question. They now have a Getty image library, so you don’t have to upload your own!
Once you have created your Kahoot, or found and adapted someone else’s you, can play the Kahoot for your class. For this, you need a computer and projector. (I used a Promethean Board, but a computer and projector will work just fine.) Students will then go to Kahoot.it and login using the game pin that shows up on your projected screen. Students enter their names into the next box and find it popping up onto the screen in real-time! This is very exciting for students!
One question comes on at a time. Students read the question on your screen and then answer it using the symbol and color that corresponds to it on their screen. For example, if you ask what is 1+1, a red circle will say 2, green shape will say 4, etc, and students choose the correct symbol on their screen. Once all the students have answered the question, the timer stops (if there was time left) and you can see how many students selected each option and how many were correct. When you complete the game, students can also rate the game and how they feel! The teacher can then download the results, which is so great for data collection. An Excel spreadsheet will show you the students’ answers and you can easily check which material needs a bit more review!
My students love Kahoot and often request Kahoot games! I use Kahoot to review vocabulary words before a quiz and social studies concepts before quizzes. I even used it for our mock presidential election. It gives great data and quickly tells me what I need to review with students!
2. Google Forms
Google Forms can be used to create a quiz that grades itself and provides you with quick data! You will need a Google account to create forms. To begin, go to https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/ and choose to either begin a blank template or select one from an education form template. The templates will definitely make it go faster for you and it can always be edited to fit your needs. They currently have template options for assessment, exit ticket, worksheet, course evaluation, and blank quiz. You can edit those templates by adding more questions, changing the types of questions, and, of course, by entering the information you would like to review with your students.
You can also create an answer key for multiple choice questions and the form will “grade” the students’ work. Plus, you can mix it up and have some multiple choice questions which are checked automatically, and some short or long answer questions that you can check and grade.
To create an answer key, go to settings, click on quizzes and select “make this a quiz.” You can also choose whether students can see the grade immediately upon submission, questions they missed, correct answers, and point values. Under each question, it says “answer key.” Click on this to choose the correct answer for the question and to assign point values. If there are multiple questions worth the same number of points and in the same format (ie: either multiple choice or short answer), you can easily duplicate the question by clicking on the “duplicate” icon next to the trash can icon on the right side of the words “answer key.”
Google Forms has many options for you to work with, including making various sections, changing the layout and order of questions once entered, and creating section titles. It is extremely versatile and makes it very easy to collect data! And, if you use Google Classroom, you can post the form in there and easily see who has already completed the assignment.
Additionally, once students submit the form, you can see their responses under the “responses” tab. You’ll also see which multiple choice questions they got correct and incorrect, and you can mark their short or long answers correct or incorrect. The grade will be at the bottom and if students gave their email addresses, you can release the grades to them.
I have used Google Forms in my classrooms very often. I created weekly vocabulary quizzes using Google Forms, which made it much easier for me to grade. It also allowed me to easily make a duplicate copy of the form and then change the words for that week while still keeping the template and grading options.
Another way I used Google Forms was to ensure students were keeping up with their nightly reading requirements. I had them read and then answer a few questions about the book, such as fiction or nonfiction, talk about the characters in the book, a summary, or other question based on the standard I was teaching.
I also used a Google Form to help students get ready for a unit test by preparing a practice quiz with questions that were similar to the those on the test. The resulting data allowed me to discover what many students struggled with and review those challenging areas in class. In the end, the students did very well on the test!
This low-tech system allows you to assess your students using multiple choice questions. The only technology you need is a projector, smart phone with the Plickers app, and paper! To begin, you will need to create an account and create a class list. Each student will be assigned a number and a paper card with their number on it. Print the cards out and hand them out to the students.
You can create questions with 2-4 answers on the app or online at plickers.com. Once the students have their cards (which each a shape with 4 sides and A, B, C, D on each side so they can choose an answer), you can begin! Open your Plickers.com account and project it for the students to see. Then, choose the quiz you are presenting and students can answer the questions by holding their cards up with the answer on top. For example, if the student thinks the answer is choice B, s/he will hold the card up with the B on top. The teacher opens the Plickers app (double check that you are on the correct quiz, so it will grade students correctly) then holds up his/her phone to scan the room—the students’ papers will be graded right there! There will be green on papers with correct answers and a red mark on incorrect answers. Once all papers have been scanned, view the results on Plickers.com, which should be visible to you and the students. This data collector is fun for both students and teachers and is useful in guiding instruction.
I used Plickers when I first started teaching in a high school with very little technology. I used these quick quizzes to check student knowledge. When I saw that many students got the same things incorrect (and you get results VERY quickly), I was able to review what they missed before moving on to the next lesson. I used them in high school science classes and students always requested using the Plickers.
Integrating technology into a classroom helps engage students and streamlines data collection. These are just three ways I have used technology in my classroom, but there are many more sites and apps to use. The best way to learn how to use them is to play around with them and discover the various features each one has. Have fun, good luck, and happy teaching!
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