[[taps mic……]] This thing on???🤷‍♂️

Well, it’s been awhile on this blog, but the COVID-19 health crisis has brought me back, as I think this is the most appropriate forum to share the following. An email my wonderful and talented colleague Dr. Jennifer Hollinger and I received from one of our clinical practice students who is in the field, trying to complete her clinical (student teaching but we have new words for things in 2020) experience, graduate and become an awesome classroom teacher.

Dear Dr. Brueck and Dr. Hollinger,

Good morning!  I am working on creating lessons for this online instruction period.  I am worried about missing the formative assessment piece in these lessons since I cannot talk to the students while I am teaching them to see if they have an understanding of the topic.


I have been brainstorming the best way to do this.  Right now, I am creating my lessons on Google Slides.  The only idea that I have right now is to create short Google Forms where students answer a question based on the minilesson that I taught.  If they get it incorrect, they will be directed to another minilesson/video/practice tool to help them with the concept before they move on in the lesson.  I am worried because I know there are students that will gloss over this and move on (I am in 5th grade language arts currently).


Do either of you have any other ideas for formative assessment that can be done without having the students all online at the same time?  Thank you!

Both Jen and I did our best to provide timely feedback and I wanted to share our responses in case they may be helpful to you or your students.

First from Jen (She beat me to the punch cuz, yes, she’s that good)🤬

This is a great question and one that I think like every teacher in America is trying to figure out right now!


I think your idea could work. You could even make separate Google Slides so they don’t get the next part of the lesson until they have taken the Google Forms. Essentially the Google Form directs them to the next part of the lesson.


There are also several products that allow you to present a video and have students answer questions as you go. I have used PlayPosit before.


I have not explored all of these but some of them I do know and are good quality tools. 75 Digital Tools and Apps Teachers Can Use to Support Formative Assessment in the Classroom


I know Dr. Brueck will have more! Hope this helps! Share ideas back with us! 🙂


-Dr. Hollinger
Shortly thereafter I took my shot. I SO MISS SPORTS!!!
I think on the most basic level, you could create Admit/Exit slips using GDocs and post it as an assignment in your Classroom. Students make a coy of your GDoc template in their drive, complete, and submit.


There are a lot of things you can do with a teacher created template in GDocs and Classroom. When I design, I start by sketching it out on paper and then moving to a template using TABLES in GDocs. You can use GSlides in a similar manner where you make a template and kids make a copy.


Think back to our EDU 350 time together. Almost every strategy I gave you can be a formative assessment. Anticipation Guides, Knowledge Ratings, Exit Tickets, etc… I made most of those handouts on GDocs and printed. You can do the same but ask kids to complete them in GDocs and submit. Your feedback won’t be synchronous, but you can still provide feedback.


Also, don’t get stuck on thinking formative assessment has to be embedded at every step of the lesson. You can ask them to read (or watch) something, complete a short form and then STOP until you can review class responses. This make take a day for them to do and an evening or a day for you to review and then plan. IT’S OK. Once you’ve reviewed, you can set them on the next task.


Chunk your online material into small pieces. Use short checks, but don’t feel like you HAVE TO assess after every chunk. You set the timelines and deadlines so make sure you build in enough time for you to review student work and provide feedback and plan next steps. You’re not going to keep these kids online doing school work every minute, so don’t worry about that. QUALITY over QUANTITY.


It’s a marathon here, not a sprint. Start small and build off your successes and your students successes. Ask your kids for feedback about what they like and what they don’t like and listen to them. I use short forms for this:

Student Feedback Form

Finally, go back to the Formative Assessment Tools we explored last semester–stuff should still be accessible to you in D2L course. A few of those are Kahoot-like, but self-paced, so kids can do them independently. They collect data, some of which is exported to GSheets.


Hope this is helpful. I know you’ll do great! As long as you are putting your students first, you are a success!


Dr. Brueck
Jen got the final word in though, and it was sage advice.
One more thing – the beauty of online is that the learning is self-pace and students can go back and forth to review as needed. Often in f2f class we formatively assess to see if our pace is correct or if students missed something. In online some of that takes care of itself.
So, if you are a clinical practitioner, a student-teacher, a classroom teacher, a higher-ed faculty member, etc… and you are working to reimagine your pedagogy in digital spaces, I hope these practical strategies on assessment may be helpful to you. Stay well!