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Last March, when the pandemic forced so many educators to pivot to remote teaching overnight, everything changed. There were myriad logistical issues to deal with, but one of the most important things that changed was the ability to gauge how well students were engaged with their studies.
It’s more of a natural occurrence in the classroom…If I ask a question and it’s crickets, I know we have a problem.
“Typically, as a teacher, a formative assessment tends to not be something so structured as a quiz,” explained Linda Detwiler, the Customer Success Manager at Pivot Interactives and former educator who was still in the classroom when the pandemic started. “It’s more of a natural occurrence in the classroom. If I ask a question and seven out of ten hands pop up, most of the kids know the answer. If I ask a question and it’s crickets, I know we have a problem.”
In traditional classroom settings, educators can read cues for engagement and do quick checks for understanding and adjust their instruction accordingly. In remote learning settings, it’s more challenging to find opportunities for organic assessment. Students may have their cameras off, or may never unmute their microphones, You’re not getting the same facial expressions and body language cues.
“There’s a feeling inside the room—you can feel when they don’t know,” Detwiler said. “You can feel when they are upset or confused. You can see it on their faces. With Bitmojis and picture profiles on most video conferencing apps, you might never see a student’s face.”
That’s where technology, such as Pivot Interactives, can help educators find moments for assessment. Pivot Interactives is an online environment of experiments that gives students the opportunity to display what they’ve learned through interactive features. In turn, educators can see how well students understand scientific concepts through the assignment feature within the Pivot platform.
Beyond remote learning, Pivot Interactives gives educators the ability to assign experiments that are hard to replicate in the classroom or laboratory setting.
“I always wanted to do labs as assessments inside of my chemistry class, but the idea of setting up 30 different trials, monitoring 30 different students wasn’t feasible,” Detwiler said. “A lot of those educational barriers that we would hit inside of a traditional classroom are absolutely obliterated with online assessments, particularly inside of Pivot.”
Learn more about Pivot Interactives and get a free 30-day trial here.
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