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Five Ways Of Doing A Formative Assessment In A Virtual Classroom

With the technology change, the traditional methods, including pop quizzes on paper and pen, are reducing by the day. Current methods include using hand signals, thumbs down/thumbs up, online polls, chat boxes, discussion boards, and online polls when assessing virtual classrooms. The purpose of the assessment is to know if the students understood the lessons. It helps to know what the students have understood in a lesson to know which areas to work on or the teaching technique to use. There’s a significant change when put in contrast with the traditional methods of assessment. However, below are some ways a teacher can utilize formative assessment in an online virtual classroom.


The above method works just like how you check the oil in your car. How?

When you start a live classroom session, you can ask a random question addressing the previous lesson. For example, you can ask your students if they are content with what they learned in the previous lesson and if there are questions and concerns. Always respond to the student’s questions and try and create some fun in the process. You can also crack a joke for the class or even share an exciting personal experience. Similarly, you can choose to go a little deeper by asking students to recap the class on what they learned and what they understood. When doing this, rate their responses on a scale of 1 – 5 basing on their understanding. Another option is also asking students for their feedback during the lesson using colors to indicate what they feel. Red light can mean the student has not understood, and you should stop, yellow can mean that you proceed slowly as the student takes time to process, and green can mean you continue as the students understand and you can proceed.


As a tutor, you can create an online document, “Journal Jot,” for students using platforms like Google Docs or Blackboard. The use of these journals jots for determining how your students are retaining the information you teach them. Students can record what they would like to know what they already know, what they are learning, etc. so that the teacher knows. Similarly, another alternative is for students to record their questions, writing key themes and ideas from a lesson or a topic on one page. They are also free to add visual representations using tools like Canva and Google Slides.


Before ending a class, a teacher can ask his/her students to shorten the things they’ve learned in a minute or less. It is a good way of helping students synthesize the essential points they learn from a lesson and knows whether they have understood the lesson.


This method is where a student chooses a shape associating with a question prompt. A square represents a concept “squared away” in a student’s thinking, a triangle means the student has to extract 3 points from the lesson, and a circle means a student should discuss an area surrounding the lesson.

Doing so helps teachers group students with similar shape responses and let them discuss according to their different shapes. After they are done, they can share with the whole class their findings.


When describing how students have understood the lesson or topic, you can ask them to create an artistic impression. Teachers can task their students with activities such as creating a play from a historical class, writing a poem in a math class, drawing a comical representation of a chemical reaction, and many others. Several mobile applications can facilitate video capture, PowerPoint presentation, voice recording, and others.


The above are some of the ways teachers can use to assess their students and gauge whether they understood a concept or not.

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