Digital assessments and assignments are becoming the norm in many connected classrooms. Teachers love the time-saving aspect and the ability to give students instant feedback. Students benefit from the differentiation and being able to work at their own pace. However, communicating grades and performance can sometimes be a learning curve – especially if your district is just starting their digital journey.
Elaine from the Teaching Lane shares some of the ways she has adapted in her classroom when students are assessed digitally and ways to communicate results of students digital assignments.
Communication = one of the keys to a successful classroom. We all know that we need to communicate expectations, consequences, directions, goals, growth, etc., BUT it isn’t always easy! It is never-ending. And with today’s classrooms turning toward a digital atmosphere, it might get a little more complicated! Ugh! Luckily, you have found this post; one that might just answer a few of those unknown questions about communication in the digital classroom.
Here are a couple of things that I’ve tried and/or thought about implementing to help with this new, puzzling topic:
Develop a System for Digital Assessments
Help Students Prepare for Digital Assessments
If you’re new to the digital world, you will soon find that students tend to score lower on these types of assessments (that totally stinks, huh?). With that being said, it is imperative that you help your students prepare for assessments. A couple of ways for you to communicate with students and parents is to send home some sample questions as part of a study guide and/or give them a review assignment that has sample questions (possibly even the same ones from the study guide depending on your class) to complete prior to the test.
Also, be 100% sure to let parents know that the assessment will be taken via technology. Heck, if you’re really feeling up to it, and you have some extra time (haha, that’s probably not going to be the case, right?!) you can even make the review online to give them practice answering questions on the computer.
Baby Steps to Digital Assessments
Baby steps are perfectly okay! You will definitely want to ease them into the whole digital assessment thing. Maybe start off 1/2 paper and 1/2 computer. If you teach more than one class, you might consider only going totally digital with one class at a time rather than jumping in with both feet first.
You might even consider given the test paper pencil and letting the students enter their responses in the computer afterwards the first time or two. It really is about what you’re comfortable with as well as what your students are ready to do.
Parents and Policies
Parents are much more understanding when they are informed….about everything, right? Be sure to have info for parents during Meet the Teacher/Open House Night about your plan for administering and communicating their child’s grades with them. Have examples of forms they might see, get a list of their emails, give them a tour of your digital platform, etc.
Try to be as transparent and informative as possible. If you are part of a team, be sure to have the same plan. That’ll cut frustration down for the students and parents…trust me!
So folks, there you have it! It probably won’t be a big piece of cake, but by following these tips, it should be much easier to communicate expectations for and performance on digital assessments!
About the Author
I’m from a small town in Georgia where I’m working hard to have a successful TpT store and blog. I love creating products that help with Social Studies instruction as well as creating center activities. My newest passion is creating Google products to assist teachers wanting to use a digital platform to reach their students. I’d love to connect with you on Social Media–links can be found on my blog.