The rise in the use of digital technologies in secondary schools for teaching and learning purposes is widely evident, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, whereby emergency remote learning has been a major factor in student’s learning over the past two academic years. Despite technology being utilised as an educational tool for teaching and learning, such technologies also exist relating to assessment – both formative and summative assessment.
One such application is the use of Google Forms for summative assessments (under the Google Workspace for Education applications). Google Forms can provide opportunites for interactive and engaging summative assessments for students to demonstrate their learning at the end of a topic. This allows for an alternative to a traditional written examination and may allow students to have access to the assessment at home.
There are many benefits of using Google Forms online summative assessements:
- Chromebook locked mode – If students are untertaking the assessment on a school controlled chromebook, the “chromebook locked mode” temporarily locks the tab, thus students cannot leave the Google Form. This feature allows more control so teachers can be re-assured that students did not search for answers online whilst on the chromebook or device.
- Increased accessibility – In some respects, online assessments can allow students more time than that in a written exam (depending on the type of asssessment). For example, a student who may struggle with hand writing may have easier access by typing and prefer this form of assessment. Other applications such as Mote can also provide voice instructions to help increase accessibility for all students, as well as the inclusion of images, videos and other media formats.
- Immediate feedback – Google Forms allows the option of auto-correction for questions answered on the quiz/test. In addition, “points” can be awarded for correct answers and are automatically counted together at the end of the assessment. This can save time with corrections and allows the option of providing immediate feedback to the students. Teachers also have the option of manually releasing the grades after they have reviewed the answers themselves.
- Responses overview – When all students have completed the assessment, Google Forms allows the option of the responses overview. This is a very useful feature as it provides a visual representation of not only correct and incorrect answers by individual students, but a class overview of performance with multiple questions. Upon analysis and reflection, the overview can provide an opportunity for teachers to visualise student’s strengths and areas for improvement.
- Link with Google Classroom – As part of Google Workspace for Education, Google Forms can also be included within a Google Classroom! A very useful tip is to assign the assessment as an assignment on Google Classroom. The assignment dashboard will automatically detect which students have submitted their assessments in real time, so teachers have an indication who has finished the assessment when in class. The grading system can also be transferred as a digital mark on Google Classroom.
Google Forms can be utlisied for many other areas in education, but their use for online summative assessments is extremely beneficial in the current climate. The Covid-19 pandemic may have an impact on student attendance rates in class, thus meaning some students may not be present in school on the day of an assessment. However, Google Forms allows accessibility from a mobile phone so students could potentially complete an assessment at home. (Ensure chromebook locked mode is turned off for access to mobile devices). Although this may not be ideal as a summative assessment for absent students, it does provide a temporary solution for students to demonstrate their learning from home.
While online assessments can provide a different format of access to a summative assessment, it is also important to note that it should not be a full replacement of summative assessments. Most assessments, including both in house (in school) and state examinations are in the form of a written examination, thus students need experience conducting such written assessments. Online assessments may not replace traditional written examinations but may provide an alternative interactive form of assessment for students to access.
If you need any advice or assistance on utilising Google apps, you can contact me via the Google Certified Trainers Directory.