Using Technology to Organize Educational Assessment Data

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  • 0:04 Using Technology for…
  • 0:41 Digitizing the Assessments
  • 2:31 Integrating Data…
  • 3:37 Using Tech to Analyze the Data
  • 4:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

Analyzing student work can be a cumbersome task for teachers to do on a regular basis when faced with pencil and paper assessments. Technology, however, can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of collecting and analyzing student data.

Using Technology for Assessments

As teachers, we usually have a lot of data available for us to use; however, when we collect all of that data via paper assignments, it can become pretty cumbersome. If you are a middle or high school teacher, that could mean trying to analyze a single assessment by first having to look at a hundred or more papers. That could mean hours and hours of taking endless notes and analyzing reams of student work. Trying to see patterns using this method isn't the most efficient use of a teacher's limited time, especially if he or she has large classes. Technology offers teachers more effective ways of collecting and analyzing assessment data.

Digitizing the Assessments

When it comes right down to it, technology will make the collection of assessment data much more efficient, whether the data is intended for formative or summative assessments.

Formative assessments are when data is collected purely for the purpose of making instructional decisions and happen on a daily basis. For example, if you were collecting formative assessment data, you could create a set of questions based on your objectives and use them to play a whole class-sized quiz-show style game using a website such as Kahoot. This is a good way to collect formative assessment data throughout a unit, or at the end of a daily lesson, since it gives every student a chance to be involved. Teachers can see an immediate breakdown after each question of how many students chose each answer, as well as print a report that shows each student's responses. This gives teachers data that they can use to make instructional decisions.

Summative assessments happen at the end of a section or unit and are mainly for the purpose of determining if students successfully mastered the material. Summative assessments can be used to make decisions about long-term instructional goals. If you're trying to collect summative assessment data, there are some websites that allow teachers to administer quizzes and tests and track student progress. Websites such as Socrative or Juno Ed give teachers the ability to administer assessments and collect data about the frequency of questions missed. This could help a teacher identify patterns in terms of specific concepts that students may be struggling to understand.

Finally, you need to be sure that the assessment reflects what you want to test. For example, if you're administering a multiple choice math test to your students, you might structure your answers so that you had a correct answer or answers that reflect what students would have arrived at if they had made any of the common mistakes. If you're creating a science test, you might have the correct answer and then other answers that reflect common misconceptions students may make.

Using Technology to Collect Assessment Data
Using Technology to Collect Assessment Data

Integrating Data Collection Plan

Before you go about analyzing data using technology, you'll also want to be sure that you set up your data collection to make the process go as smoothly as possible. If you're planning on analyzing data by class, you'll want to set up a separate group for each class. That way, if you use any built-in analysis tools in the software, you can easily differentiate between the different classes' data sets.

You'll also want to be sure that you've designed your questions to meet with your assessment goals. For example, if you're collecting assessment data for a particular standard or objective, you'll want your questions to align with that data. Otherwise, your analysis won't accurately reflect your students' knowledge of the objective or standard.

Technology can allow data collection to become a seamless part of your instructional plan. For example, if you're collecting formative assessment data, you may use technology to collect it in the form of daily, get-started activities. You can also create games on a variety of free websites using questions that you've created. These games can be played within a 5-15 minute time frame during class. In this way, your data collection becomes an engaging classroom activity for your students.

Integrate Assessments in Your Instructional Plan
Integrate Assessments in Your Instructional Plan

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