by Trudi Barrow, Sandringham School
The introduction of blended learning into my classroom and then the abrupt switch to a virtual learning curriculum has had a huge impact on how I now assess students through both formative and summative assessment.
I’m very interested in exploring how digital tools can help alleviate the time pressures and work load of marking on the teacher whilst providing students with personalised, targeted feedback that leads to exceptional progress.
“feedback should cause thinking. It should be focused; it should relate to the learning goals that have been shared with the students; and it should be more work for the recipient than the donor. Indeed, the whole purpose of feedback should be to increase the extent to which students are owners of their own learning,”
― Dylan Wiliam, Embedded Formative Assessment
KS3 Digitally Marked Scheme of Learning
The majority of formative assessment during a KS3 DT rotation has historically been in the form of handwritten comments. I’ve also tried my hand at integrating marking boxes into worksheets and booklets, designing stickers for common misconceptions or common mistakes and a wide range of peer and self-assessment tasks, games and quizzes.
In one of my schemes of learning that I have created for my department, I now use a completely blended approach to formative assessment using google classroom’s mark book to track students progress through the rotation (or scheme of learning). Students still use a booklet but it no longer tells the whole story. Several pieces of work are still booklet based and require handwritten work and/or hand drawing techniques. Students simply photograph their work and submit it on a google classroom assignment. I do not ask students to upload every page of the booklet as some are still self – marked quizzes or peer assessed pieces. I have created rubrics for each piece of work that requires teacher feedback. Rubrics have enabled me to speed up my feedback process. Each student is given a mark out of 4 which directly correlates to ‘Emerging, Developing, Securing and Mastering’. Any student who would be classed as ‘below expectation’ or ‘exceptional performance’ would have a specific comment alongside their rubric comment explaining why this is. I can also give specific personalised comments to students who I believe need further feedback that is not covered by the rubric.
Example mark-book using the 1-4 system and rubrics. Tip: Use emojis to distinguish between different units of work and/or special one off lessons. eg. The STEM week lesson above.
Students then ‘reAct’ to their online feedback using a green post-it note they can stick into their books. This consolidates the feedback and imbeds the learning.
Examples of ReAct post-it notes being used to consolidate and implement feedback.
As I mentioned previously the booklet is not the full story and students can now have videos, photographs, CAD files and other digital forms of work stored and assessed alongside their written work. This is invaluable in a subject such as Design Technology due to the practical element of each scheme of learning and is particularly useful for recording and assessing physical pieces that have moving parts. There are also other types of formative assessment that I use regularly in lessons such as quizziz and kahoot for quick fire fun quizzes and padlet for a wide range of different ways to formatively assess. (See blog post ‘Using Padlet’). All of these other forms of blended learning/ assessment can be integrated into google classroom and recorded as part of the learning journey through the unit of work.
1. An example of a sticker at the front of a book to makesure other visiting educators and parents know why there is no traditional marking in the book and provide them with the google classroom code.
2. An example of summative assessment at the end of DT rotation. The student has reflected on her online feedback and put the final assessment into her own words.
This scheme of learning is now taught by two other members of staff who I have introduced to my assessment methods outlined above. I am really looking forward to hearing from them at the end of this year’s first rotation to hear how they have found using this blended assessment approach and if, like me, they have found it beneficial.
Another blended approach to formative assessment I have fallen in love with is the use of Padlet.
In my lessons as a DT and Art teacher I very often use Padlet as it is a fantastic resource for showcasing visual work. I have also used Padlet to aid with peer assessment, to play ‘guess who’ games, and to offer a forum for quick fire questions with 6th form. I also used it for starter activities within google meets during the periods of school closure; posing a question that students could respond to whilst they waited for others to join the meet.
The Padlet page below was used for peer assessment with a year 8 Art class. Students were to follow the assessment criteria also posted on the page. https://padlet.com/barrowt/y14ullp1gjc1h2ke This enabled the whole class to see the peer assessment of other pairs and enabled me to have this on the board and discuss their assessments as a whole class – offering thoughts and questioning on what made a successful drawing and what was a successful peer assessment comment.
The Padlet page below was used with year 12 Product Design to complete quick fire questions. https://padlet.com/barrowt/f5tzif9gxd3f7o0s This enabled us to discuss which answers were successful and which were not and why. Another huge benefit of using these virtual pin boards is that you can keep them and refer back to them later in the project.
The use of Padlet as a tool for assessment has been used department wide. I introduced colleagues to the idea of a real time digital gallery during simultaneous lessons for STEM week ’21. This enabled whole classes to contribute their design ideas to one Padlet board which led to a healthy competitive feel for both staff and students. It then aided staff discussion after the lessons to discuss and choose the most successful designs for showcasing in the school newsletter and presenting with awards. I also led colleagues during the second period of school closure to introduce students to a whole school project ‘Blue Hearts for the NHS’. Again students could submit their entry onto a live gallery which enabled a sense of community and collaboration.
STEM week blogpost: https://barrowt.blogspot.com/2021/04/stem-week.html?spref=tw
Blue Hearts for the NHS blogpost: https://barrowt.blogspot.com/2021/02/blue-hearts-for-nhs.html?spref=tw
I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different ways we can utilize Edtech to enable students to get timely, effective formative and summative assessment. I want to continue to explore this area and continue to share my ideas/findings with colleagues. I am currently attached to the Ridgeway Academy in an SLE capacity. I am excited to work alongside them when they start to role out ‘bring your own device’. I look forward to discussing the benefits of digital assessment methods and how we can assess practical and visual subjects.