As educators, making and sticking to a well-designed plan can be the key to success in many endeavors. Each school year begins with a meticulously planned curriculum map, along with detailed lesson plans designed to engage students in meaningful instruction. However, effective teachers also acknowledge the value of constantly monitoring and evaluating the success of said well-designed plan, and pivoting where necessary. What works great for one group of students may not fit the particular needs of the next group. This is where formative assessments come in. By providing frequent, informal, and low-stakes opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency and knowledge, teachers can gauge the effectiveness of their instruction and make important adjustments to meet the specific needs of their students throughout the school year.

So why is this important step so often underused, or even skipped entirely, in the classroom? While bell ringers, exit tickets, reading journals and more have been employed by educators as formative assessment tools for years, many simply view them as extra steps that add little value to their students’ overall experience – “busy work”, if you will. If this is the case, perhaps it’s time to revolutionize your formative assessments. With the power of educational technology, meaningful data can be gathered and analyzed with ease. 


Showing videos as instructional material is nothing new; but how can you be sure that students are actually learning from it? Interactive video-based quizzes are a great way to informally gauge students’ overall comprehension of any topic throughout the learning process. Whether pulling from the vast quantity of video content available across the internet, or creating their own high-quality content, teachers can insert a variety of types of questions at prescribed points throughout a video to ensure engagement and understanding from all students. Data gathered from this type of formative assessment can inform teachers of a particular topic that just didn’t quite sink in with their students, where they might need more practice moving forward.


Another fantastic way of gauging student success is through video response assignments. With these handy formative assessment tools, teachers can create a series of questions or prompts, where students respond via video, text, or uploading of an image or document. Gone are the days of paper and pencil exit tickets when students have the opportunity to speak on camera about their thoughts and ideas. Formative assessments are all about gathering informal data, so what better way to get a casual glance into the minds of students than allowing them to speak freely outside of the confines of a written essay or exam?


The most common misuse of formative assessment lies in the data and how it is used, or rather, not used. Progress journals do no one any good if the progress isn’t being monitored and used to inform future instruction. Look for ed tech tools that simplify this process by generating and storing assessment reports that can be analyzed over time. The more student data that can be gathered, however informal it may be, the better. When students and their families can see tangible evidence of growth over time, everyone wins. 


As time goes on and education progresses forward, it becomes more and more obvious that technology and formative assessments go hand in hand. As the leading video and digital media management solution built specifically for K-12 education, MyVRSpot offers a wide variety of tools that educators can use to revolutionize their formative assessments. With the SmartSpot video quiz creator, students can respond to four different types of questions inserted throughout any video in a teacher’s account, even YouTube videos. And the Video Response System provides students an outlet to share their responses to a series of prompts with video recordings. Never worry about where to store all that data, because MyVRSpot automatically generates result reports for every SmartSpot quiz and Video Response System assignment created, which can then be exported as a CSV, Text, Excel, or PDF file. Ready to see how technology can revolutionize your formative assessments? Schedule a demo today!