Salli Pence
Educational Technology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
  • Educational Technology
  • Formative Assessments
  • Iowa K-12 E-Curriculum
  • Professional Development
  • iowa-k-12-e-curriculum
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    Digital Formative Assessment Tools

    Digital Formative Assessment Tools


    This lesson focuses on the importance of formative assessment.  Four resources are showcased in this lesson.  Teachers need to choose at least two or three formative assessment tools on the attached list that are new to them.  They will create an assessment with each tool they choose that they will use with students. Teachers will participate in a 3-2-1 Bridge Activity before they begin this lesson.

    3-2-1 Bridge Activity

    Teachers will begin this lesson by participating in a 3-2-1 Bridge Activity.  

    You will be using the 3-2-1 Bridge Activity with this lesson.  

    On a piece of scratch paper or a sticky note, think of three words that quickly come to mind when you think about "formative assessment" and write them down.  Don't overthink this; it is not a test. I am simply looking for some quick associations that you are making with formative assessment.  

    Now, create two questions that quickly come to mind regarding this topic.  Remember that these questions are "surface" questions and don't need a lot of deep thought.  Right now, I am interested in uncovering your initial, surface ideas at this point. 

    Next, create a metaphor or simile about formative assessment.  A simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.  A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics.  (Ex: apple of my eye).  Metaphors and similes are nothing more than connections one is making, comparing one thing to another because they have important features in common.

    Before you take a look at the rest of this lesson, head over to our Google+ Community and share your three words, two questions and simile/metaphor in a post.

    Formative Assessment Cycle


    Introduction - Digital Formative Assessment Tools

    This is a professional development lesson created for teachers to use to learn more about digital formative assessment tools.  

    Formative Assessment
    Formative assessments are about checking for understanding in a meanigful way to guide instruction. They are used throughout instruction instead of at the end of the chapter or unit. If formative assessment is done well, the instructor will slow the instruction down when he or she notices that the students "didn't get it" and then reteaches or reviews the material.

    Formative assessments are not a "gotcha" quiz meant to punish students for behaviors they might be displaying. Instead they are about guiding where instruction needs to go next. They should be used frequently, and while or after students learn a new idea, concept, or process.

    In the past few years, developers have been busy creating a variety of quality formative assessment tools. I have picked four different formative assessment tools that I have showcased in this lesson.

    Your job is to view the four tools in this lesson first.  Then use the list that is linked at the end of this lesson and choose at least 2 or 3 formative assessment tools that you have not yet tried with students. Explore the tool indepth and complete the activity you are asked to do.




    Plickers is the first of four formative assessment tools that will be introduced to teachers through personalized PD.



      What is Plickers and why is it great? Plickers is a rapid response tool that requires very little technology.  Ask question(s) and scan the card that each student is holding and you immediately have your results. Plickers is a quick formative assessment tool that is 100% FREE. Check it out now.




      Plickers Demo Video

      Getting Started

      Things to Note:

      • The letters on the paper clicker are small so fellow classrates cannot see their selection.
      • You must have a WiFi connection to project real time data
      • Modify plickers to work for primary/special needs


      Mentimeter is the second of four formative assessment tools that will be introduced to teachers through personalized PD.


      Why Mentimeter?

      Mentimeter is a fun and easy way to share a presentation.

      • Use it to create fun and interactive lessons online

      • Works on any device - smartphone, tablet & computer

      • Fully web-based (no downloads or installing software needed)

      • Unlimited class size

      • Reliable and safe

      • It is FREE



      Mentimeter Video

      Let's Get Started:

      Ask any question with Mentimeters question types. Options include: Multiple Choice, Image Choice, Scales (rating), Open Ended, Word Cloud, Quiz, 100 points and 2x2 matrix. A couple of their new features are quick slides and reactions. Want to use Mentimeter in your PowerPoint? No problem. Simply create the question(s) directly into your presentation and get real-time results from your audience (students in our case). In addition, Mentimeter works perfectly with Excel for exporting the results from you assessment and/or presentation (paid feature).

      A few other great features include: the ability to hide and show results, filtering out profanity, opening and closing the voting, uploading a custom grid, a countdown feature that automatically closes a poll after a set time and the ability to share templates and knowledge with your team (other teachers and administrators).
      Click on "Education" below to view the free and paid options for education. The free option allows users to create up to 2 questions per presentation.

      Go to Mentimeter now to get started now. Participants will go to Menti to join.

      Mentimeter How-to Information



      Formative is the third of four formative assessment tools that will be introduced to teachers through personalized PD.



      Because we are already looking at different formative assessment tools, let's take a look at the FREE tool called Formative that works for any grade-level, any subject and any device.

      How to Use Formative (In Less Than 5 Minutes) Video

      video link -


      Ready to begin? Start here:

      Get your Teacher Account here -


      • Display your Class Code.

      • Send students to

      • Have students "Sign up with Google" and enter your Class Code.


      • 3 Tabs:  Assignments, Profile, Classes

      • Sign Out it to the right of the 3 tabs

      • + New Assignment to create an assignment and add a title

      • Add Questions:  4 Choices

        • Multiple Choice, Show Your Work, Short Answer, True/False

        • Click the question type you want to add

        • Type in your question, provide answer choices if needed & select the correct answer, assign point value, add help text (optional)

      • Add Content option:

        • Image, Text Block, View-Only Canvas, YouTube

      • Upload & Transform

      • Scroll to the top to Preview (click on Preview)

      • Click on Assign in top right corner and select the class to assign it to.

        • Class codes are viewable here

      • Back on the Dashboard click on the 3 lines in front of the assignment to see options:  Edit, Assign, Live Results, Share with Teachers, Delete (red), Duplicate/Copy

      • Share your assignments with your team and take turns creating them.  Lighten the load for everyone.

      • At the top of the site - Community - check this out - Forums, Library, Tutorials and more


      • View by Single Question or Summary

      • Single Question View

        • Displays each student's last name and answer (shows % that got the question correct and % that answered incorrectly)

        • Can sort by First Name, Last Name, Score or Last Response

      • Summary View

        • Displays each student's scores for each question (Green - correct & Red - incorrect) and total points received if applicable

        • Sort by First Name, Last Name, Score or Last Response

      • Data can be exported (CSV File)

      For More Videos - check out Formative's YouTube Channel


      PlayPosit is the fourth of four formative assessment tools that will be introduced to teachers through personalized PD.



      Join the 2,000,000+ users and create an account now to begin using Playposit. It's Free, so get started now.

      Playposit engages learners and measures learner understanding. Find an educational video online or search from their 300,00 pre-made interactive vidoes. Next, add any of the seven interactive question types along with your video into the video's timeline to begin actively engaging students on any device. Then, share with your students.

      Playposit allows teachers to understand student learning as it happens in-class. It is also a powerful tool for content delivery in a flipped classroom environment. Let's take a look at the video below to see how this tool works.

      How to Create a Playposit Lesson

      Make sure that you take a look at the additional resources below. They will be a great resource as you begin your journey with Playposit.


      Video Channels

      Premade Bulbs

      Playposit Help

      Last Steps/Wrap Up

      This section shares everything that the teacher needs to create and complete for this lesson.  

      Digital Formative Asessment Tools List

      Using Digital Formative Assessment Tools List link, choose at least 2 or 3 formative assessment tools that you have not yet used and create an assessment with that tool that you will use with your students. 

      At the end of this lesson, teachers would repeat the steps they did at the beginning of this lesson with the 3-2-1 Bridge Activity.  Again they would share out in the Google+ Community this time with a post sharing if or how their thinking on the topic "formative assessment" shifted from their initial post.