More Assessment thoughts from the Leadership Councils

It has been a little while, but your DEN LC members have been busy writing!  Here is a post from Florida LC member Janet Hallstrom.  Stay tuned for a number of assessment-related blog posts over the next few days.


Discovery Quizzes to Make Instruction Count in the Classroom

written by Janet Hallstrom, FL LC

When I first learned to cook, I found a recipe, bought the ingredients, and prepared the dish exactly as the instructions directed.  Sometimes, the dish would turn out okay, other times, not so good.  Variables in the wattage of the oven, the way the ingredients were measured such as a spoon or heaping spoon, etc. can make or break a recipe.  A really good chef will taste from time to time adding ingredients, change cooking temperature or time, and make various adjustments according to the assessments he makes during the process.

Teaching is very much like that. Students come to your classroom with a wide range of skills and interests.  We cannot assume that the students are with us, engaged, and mastering the new concepts we present.  Assessments are a necessary part of instruction.   When presenting a new concept, a poor assessment would be something like this, “Are there any questions?  Okay, let’s move on.”   A better assessment would be a review of the material with relevant questions for a discussion assessment.  The teacher could require exit slips with answers that show comprehension of the concept.  After collecting this data, the teacher can assess if there were any misconceptions about the lesson and in what areas reteaching might be needed.

Teachers need all the help they can get developing assessment.  Discovery is an invaluable resource with access to quizzes available on a world of topics, as well as a data bank of questions available matching state curriculum standards. Discovery has quizzes already developed for many of the videos available for teachers.  These quizzes can be copied to the “My Content” and edited to meet the needs of the individual class.  This allows teachers to hold the students accountable for information presented in the video.

Okay, so Discovery has quizzes and a question bank.  The good news does not end there.  When a teacher edits a quiz, an option is given to send the teacher an email when the student completes the quiz when taken online.  This could be important to a teacher with a student who doesn’t seem to take their time on a quiz.  For example, if the teacher started the test at 10:00 and the time on the email says Johnny finished at 10:03, the teacher has data proof that Johnny is not putting forth his best effort.  Perhaps, a hospital homebound student is taking an assessment.  The teacher knows instantly when it is completed, can review the grade, and can prepare for the next instruction.

 Want the students to view a video clip before taking the quiz?  Discovery allows the teacher to put a video clip from Discovery in the quiz.  Discovery also allows the teacher to use the widget code from YouTube or TeacherTube to insert a video in the quiz.  Widgets codes can be copied by choosing “HTML” when editing “Quiz Instructions,” “Objectives,” or” Notes.”

Another plus with Discovery quizzes is that all but short answer quizzes are graded for the teacher.  Instantly, the teacher can check the grades.

But wait, there is more, an available option is that the students can see the correct answers for immediate feedback.  This way the quiz can be instructional.

Concerned for the students who don’t master the quiz?  The teacher has an option for the students to be allowed to retake the quiz.

Worried, that a student will see other’s answers in the computer lab?  Discovery allows questions to be displayed in a random order.  This option is on the “Build” page.

Don’t have access to enough computers to test the whole class?  Discovery allows you to print the test in a professional looking format, or edit the test in Word.

Ever want to find out which questions appeared too easy or too hard to your students?  Want feedback from the students on the unit or activities you presented?  A great tool that Discovery allows the teacher to add to a quiz is a survey widget that you can get from Poll Everywhere or Poll Daddy.  By adding the widget to the quiz, the student can anonymously give feedback and see the feedback of others.

Discovery makes building assessment so easy, teachers can use quizzes as a review tool.  By displaying the questions one question at a time on screen, teachers can turn quizzes into a fun review game.

 Why do I love Discovery?  Because I feel Discovery must love me with all the resources and support I get there.  Wondering how to get started?  Click on “My Builder Tools”!


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