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Adapting Quick Formative Assessment Ideas to an Online Environment

by Karen Nichols

Edutopia's 53 Ways to Check for Understanding offers several quick and easy activities for formative assessment. While these were established for a face to face environment, I think we can adapt several of them to our online/hybrid courses.

A number of the formative assessments listed require defining, identifying objectives, explaining why a reading is important, etc.  For these types of assessments, Blackboard offers an array of discussion boards, wikis, journals, etc.  They can be set up for students to view other postings and comment, thus providing opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.

Suggestion 20 is to create a collage using the themes from the current lesson.  A word cloud can be used for this activity and it can be uploaded in a discussion board.  Wordle is commonly used, but here is one I created from Tagxedo (Also item 35 in this article)--can you tell the topic I chose?


I've successfully used Item 45, Bio Poem, in my French classes.  In my case, I used this idea for the students to practice using newly learned French vocabulary by describing themselves, but it can certainly be used to as a formative assessment check to make sure the students understand literary characters or historical figures.  For those unfamiliar with the Bio Poem, here are the items to include:

Line 1:  First Name

Line 2: 3-4 adjectives that describe the person

Line 3:  An important relationship

Line 4: 2-3 things, people or ideas that the person loved

Line 5: 3 feelings the person experienced

Line 6: 3 fears the person experienced

Line 7:  Accomplishments

Line 8: 2-3 things the person experienced or wanted to see happen

Line 9:  Person's place of residence

Line 10:  Last name

Let's be creative ourselves!  Complete this bio poem about yourself or a literary or historical figures and share with us in a post!

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