With students in and out of class and the end of the school year rapidly approaching, we wanted to take a minute to share some tools and techniques to help you whilst you prepare for online tests, whatever they may look like this year.
The last year has proven more than ever that teaching and learning is about more than just a test. It is about ensuring that your students have built up – and have retained – the right knowledge throughout their school years, and have the skills to progress to whatever they want to do next.
1. Formative testing
Formative assessment is crucial for identifying knowledge gaps early on, and providing accurate and early interventions.
- Utilise the built-in formative assessment tools of your online teaching platform, like Yes and No buttons, or have students hold up coloured sticky notes in a traffic-light system. These can help you to assess understanding before moving onto to a new topic.
- Track student data as they progress through the set topics, by tagging quizzes to curricula and standards. The Quizalize library contains thousands of pre-tagged quizzes you can assign to start getting Mastery data today! Can’t see your curriculum on our site? Let us know!
2. Personalise learning
To keep up motivation and engagement, it’s important that students feel involved in the direction of their learning as they prepare for online tests.
- Make time for one-to-one conversations with students which allow them to share how they feel they are progressing, or use an online forum for personal assessment reviews.
- Assign differentiated activities for students according to their test scores. Quizalize makes it easy to assign targeted additional follow up activities which meet the educational needs of the individual student. Find strategies for differentiation here.
3. Introduce competition to online test preparation
The word ‘test’ can insight fear, dread, or just plain boredom.
Introducing gamified testing into the classroom transforms assessments from a scary task to a fun opportunity to prove your knowledge.
- Our Quizalize leaderboards introduce an element of competition to the classroom. Stream team vs. team or individual leaderboards to ramp up study motivation in the lead up to end of year tests.
- Kickstart some healthy competition with our topical quiz on the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace.
4. Make sure your students are confident with the tech
Most classes are now taking place in the virtual world, and your students may have already reached a pretty high level of tech literacy.
However, from website navigation to countdown clocks, online testing can still be a daunting experience.
- Incorporate regular timer-based exercises, to allow students to become more confident with online testing.
- If possible, show the students a demo of the testing platform before their assessment day. If they know what to expect, they can focus on their subject knowledge rather than the test site itself.
- Put a clear system in place for if things go wrong on assessment day. Shakey wifi or a web link not working? Make sure they know who they can talk to on the day so they are reassured that circumstances outside of their control won’t have an impact on their results.
5. Look after yourself!
This April marks stress awareness month.
In the run up to test season, we (quite rightly) focus on the stress that our students are facing. However, teachers also experience a huge amount of pressure as we prepare for online tests!
This year more than ever, a huge range of factors will affect the performance of your students, and it’s important that you are gentle with yourself.
- Connect with colleagues. More than likely, you’re not the only one feeling the pressure of test season. Chat with other teachers and share tips on how to deal with the pressure.
- If you’re teaching online all day, make sure you schedule regular breaks away from your computer screen.
- Take some time out to do something you enjoy! From exercise to craft, or a zoom call with friends, make sure you take time out for yourself.
- Any tips you share with your students, remember to apply them to yourself! You could even introduce some stress-busting activities into the classroom. For example, try a 2 minute meditation at the beginning of class.
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How are you preparing for tests this year? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below!