Using Formative Assessment To Improve Your Teaching

Useful Formative Assessment Tools

Gabel Haley 2016 (1)By Haley Gabel, SEEC Communications Intern

To foster healthy, successful learning environments, it is imperative that teachers both monitor and evaluate student learning. Summative assessment is the term used to describe evaluation of student learning at the end of an instructional unit. Formative assessment, on the other hand, involves monitoring student learning during an instructional unit to provide ongoing feedback about student learning and teaching.

Formative assessment can:

  • Help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • Help faculty recognize students’ problem areas and address them immediately

While there are many digital technology tools that can aid with formative assessment, these are four of the best tools/apps that you can use in the classroom to collect evidence of student learning, while helping engage the class in deeper thinking and discussion.


According to’s article “5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools,” Socrative is an app that allows teachers to engage and assess students as learning happens. There are two separate Socrative apps: one for teachers and one for students. Teachers create traditional quizzes using Socrative, which then provide instant feedback on student results. The app also allows for additional personal assessments to be designed for specific students. A results report is automatically generated to allow teachers to review the students’ responses in a variety of types: whole class overview, student-specific results, or question-by-question breakdown. Results are always saved in your “reports” on Socrative, or teachers can choose to download, email or even save reports to Google Drive. The app also allows teachers to make exercises and games.

For more information, or to download the app, visit

*Kahoot is another game/quiz app similar to Socrative.


GoClassgo glass

GoClass is a free iPad application allowing teachers to create lessons and deliver them directly to students on their mobile devices. The app is available for both iOS and Android. The lessons follow a specific structure that allows for easy formative assessment: show (media and videos), explain (notes and examples), and ask (polls and assessments). There are many features that make GoClass an excellent, versatile formative assessment tool: immediate feedback on polls and assessments, the option to time lectures and assessments, student note taking and annotation, and more.

To get started, visit



With Zaption, teachers implement the use of video technology into their instruction. Teachers can use online videos and turn them into interactive, engaging video lessons. The app allows for students to make notes during the videos, where they can annotate problem areas or questions they may have about a section.

Find out more information at, plus review their 5 Tips for Creating Effective Zaption Lessons.



TodaysMeet is not an app, but simply a website that allows teachers to stream live feeds during lectures. Students can take notes together as you teach. A private chat is also available for students to ask questions or leave comments during discussion. Teachers can use TodaysMeet as a backchannel during instruction, a class suggestion box, to invite feedback on instruction/discussion, and more.

Tech Tools 4 Teaching gives us 5 Easy Ways to Use TodaysMeet in the Classroom or head to for more information.

All of these apps/tools allow for the use of formative assessment to be both fun and easy…and best of all, they’re free!

Have an app or tool you want to share?

If you have a favorite Formative Assessment app or tool that you use in your classroom – please share with us be emailing and we’ll add it to this list!

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