Assessments, when designed purposefully, can be a powerful tool for promoting effective learning. When designing assessments, coaches should support educators in selecting digital tools that offer students timely feedback and provide opportunities for personalized learning. During my graduate studies I have explored many different digital tools, and one tool that I have found to be effective in supporting these components of purposeful assessment design is Pear Deck. In my blog post, Enhancing Assessments to Drive Instruction with Pear Deck, I explore how educators can use Pear Deck to enhance assessment design, allowing for increased student engagement, a differentiated learner experience, and effective data-collection. Pear Deck provides educators flexibility and creativity in the design process and is a useful digital tool to help drive instruction through the use of assessment. Pear Deck’s interactive capability allows students to follow along with a presentation, and also provides an opportunity for the teacher to add formative assessments appropriately throughout a lesson. Real-time feedback from these formative assessments can give the teacher immediate data on student understanding of the content. By utilizing Pear Deck’s interactive feedback capabilities, coaches can support educators in integrating best practices into their instruction. In addition to Pear Deck, another digital tool I have found to be incredibly powerful in providing real-time feedback is the digital tool, Mote, which I was recently introduced to at the NCCE 2021 Conference. Mote has allowed my students to provide and receive timely feedback through audio comments. Providing written feedback to peers can be challenging for many students, and Mote offers personalization and flexibility by allowing students to record their voices as comments on Google Docs and Google Slides. Many of my students have also shared that they find the feedback I offer to be more beneficial and easier to process when they can hear my voice. Inserting audio feedback for students also saves educators time, which then allows for more purposeful, precise feedback to be delivered.
When identifying a digital tool to create effective assessments, coaches should also support teachers in making sure the assessment tool has flexibility in making learning personalized. In my blog post, Personalized Learning Enhanced Through App Smashing with Flipgrid, I discuss how coaches can collaborate with educators on the use of Flipgrid to develop personalized learning environments for their students. One of the things I love about the digital tool, Flipgrid, is its versatility and flexibility. Flipgrid provides educators the ability to personalize learning, especially through its app-smashing capabilities. App smashing involves the partnership of two or more applications to help users improve a task, while also supporting creativity, critical thinking, and autonomy in the learning process. One of the most effective, meaningful ways coaches and educators can use app smashing to personalize learning, is by empowering students to take ownership in exploring its potential. Scaffolding for students the many abilities that digital tools have to offer, including partnering them with other digital tools, helps students to recognize their potential and explore creative uses. I am just beginning to explore all the possibilities of app-smashing and personalization of learning through the digital tool Flipgrid. As I transition into my coaching role next year, I am planning to continue to support educators in seeing the capabilities for effective assessment design and personalization that this digital tool offers.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches