As educators, we understand the importance of quick assessments in the teaching process. However, with the challenges of teaching multiple subjects and managing numerous students, providing timely feedback can be a struggle. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of quick assessments and how technology tools can streamline this process for secondary career and technical education (CTE) teachers.

The Importance of Timely Feedback

Understanding Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are invaluable tools for gauging student understanding in real-time. Unlike summative assessments, such as quizzes or tests, formative assessments are quick, in-class activities designed to inform teaching strategies and address student misconceptions promptly.

Benefits of Formative Assessments

Did you know that formative assessments can increase student achievement by 19%? According to John Hattie’s Visible Learning, these assessments play a crucial role in student progress. They allow teachers to adjust their teaching methods on the fly, ensuring that students stay on track and master key concepts.

Leveraging Tech Tools for Quick Assessments

Types of Tech Tools

Today, there’s a plethora of tech tools available to facilitate quick assessments. From exit tickets to interactive quizzes, these tools offer versatile options for assessing student understanding. Popular choices include:

  • Kahoot: A dynamic platform for creating engaging quizzes.
  • Google Forms: An easy-to-use tool for generating surveys and quizzes.
  • Socrative: A platform that supports interactive quizzes and team-based activities.
  • Plickers: Cards that allow a device to collect immediate feedback from students.

Maximizing Efficiency with Tech

Tech tools like these streamline the assessment process, allowing teachers to gather data efficiently. Additionally, these tools often provide valuable analytics, enabling educators to track student progress and identify areas for improvement.

Implementing Quick Assessments

Strategies for Integration

Incorporating formative assessments into classroom routines is essential for maximizing their effectiveness. Whether it’s through bell work, exit tickets, or timed activities, integrating these assessments seamlessly into daily lessons fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Designing Effective Assessments

To save time and ensure effectiveness, consider employing AI-powered tools to generate formative assessment questions. By leveraging AI, teachers can quickly create targeted questions that align with lesson objectives, saving valuable planning time.

Analyzing and Adapting

Finally, it’s crucial to analyze assessment data promptly and make necessary adjustments to teaching strategies. Utilizing the feedback gathered from quick assessments, teachers can make informed decisions to enhance student learning outcomes.


In conclusion, quick assessments are invaluable tools for CTE teachers seeking to maximize efficiency in the classroom. By leveraging technology and implementing strategic assessment practices, educators can provide timely feedback, track student progress, and continuously improve their teaching methodologies. Embracing these practices fosters a dynamic learning environment where students thrive and succeed.

I was just watching a YouTube video from Dylan William, who is, I don’t know how you would phrase this, but he, he knows a lot about assessment. And in his YouTube video, which I’ve actually seen him speak live as well, but in his YouTube video, he specifically says that if you are not using assessment in your teaching, you have no business being a teacher, which is a little harsh. But at the same time, when he went into his reasoning behind that, really what our job.

As teachers one of our main things is not necessarily to give kids a grade at the end, but it’s to have that assessment along the way to help them improve in their learning and also gain mastery and proficiency. We are going to be talking about the importance of timely feedback, which is a huge struggle as a secondary teacher, first off, because you have a lot of students, and secondly, if you are teaching multiple preps and you’re feedback isn’t or can’t really be the same.

You have to have different forms of feedback or different types of feedback for your different classes and subjects. That can just add another layer to the assessment piece, but that’s what we’re going to dive in today. Did you know that formative assessments can increase student achievement by 19%? That is from John Hattie’s Visible Learning. If you have not heard of that before, just do a quick Google search and you will find a bunch of different things.

Formative assessments are meant to be done in class. They are meant to inform you of where your students are learning right now. It’s not summative, it’s not a quiz or a test that is going to require you to grade it. It’s meant to be something quick, fast, and will allow you to shift your teaching from One thing to another. Are you going to move on? Are you going to go over some things again?

Are you seeing misconceptions? Some of the great ways to do these formative assessments that I’ve really liked is through like an exit ticket or some sort of mini quiz that gets turned in kind of like an exit ticket or even students just turning and talking to their neighbor. And how That works.

That last one is that you do need to monitor that and be listening to what’s happening so that you can modify and adjust. The really cool thing is that there are a lot of tech tools now that can help you with these types of problems. formative assessments, specifically for exit tickets or quizzes, just to see like where students are. It could even be at the beginning of class, end of class, or you could throw something in at the end of your teaching. Maybe you just taught a concept for 10 minutes and you want to check to see, do they get it? Do they not?

There are a lot of fun and engaging ways. One of the ways that I’ve been able to do this is Kahoot. I mean, there’s tons of different quizzings, but Kahoot is one of those where you can quickly put something in. There are other different ways. You can have Google forms, you can use Socratic. Socratic can be fun, where you can have students on like various teams and they’re answering questions. Clickers, there’s just a, there’s a bunch out there. You can just find them. None of these are sponsored, but I just wanted to let you know that there are options available, and you’ve probably heard of them a lot.

Now you don’t have to use these tech tools, but it is a way. And part of the value with having these tech tools is that usually you’ll get something on the back end. You can see that data, but here’s the thing. You’ve got to look at the data. My biggest mistake that I made when we started using an LMS Like district wide we were using Canvas.

I would give a quiz and then I would just let it populate the student’s scores. Which, first off, was not formative assessment because I was putting it on their grade. But secondly, I wasn’t looking to see what they had missed. I wasn’t readjusting or going over misconceptions or tweaking my next day’s lesson based on what they did. It was kind of like a one and done, which at that point was definitely more of a summative assessment instead of formative. You need to really be intentional about using that as a summative or a formative assessment.

One of my favorite ways to do formative assessments is to have students speak with one another. Think pair share. They’re thinking, they’re pairing up with somebody else, and they’re sharing. As you are actively monitoring, as you’re walking around and you’re listening to their conversations, you can pick up on things that they have. not gotten right, or that they’re still a little bit unclear of. Plus, when you’re walking around, more likely than not, students are able to ask for clarification.

You can also jump in right at that moment and ask additional questions, like clarifying questions, or you can do some just in time teaching. You can take a small group, or a pair of students, or a single student, and you can Help them teach them right there in the moment, not necessarily in the whole class, but you could do it with that individual student, which is a huge benefit of formative assessment. You’re correcting things right then and there rather than waiting until students are part way through an assignment or a project.

Just makes that feedback much more applicable and it will stick with them. When using something like exit tickets or if you’re doing a quiz, one of the favorite things that I liked to do is that when students, if I was using it at the end of class, I was using it as an exit ticket, I had a little piece of paper, which I know is not tech, but you could make this tech, and they would turn things in. Instantly. And then I could just go through them. They didn’t have names on them.

That’s the whole point of being formative. And then I could just sort them into piles. Who’s getting it? Who’s not? Which faster, if I was using tech, I could probably pull something up, even if I was in the hall. If I was in the hall, like between classes, monitoring, I could easily pull up my phone, check to see how students in that class did, make a small note as to what I need to do the next day. to review or also help me inform some of my teaching for the next class period if I was lucky enough to be teaching the same class that following class period. Now let’s get into actually planning for these formative assessments.

That is another big mistake that I made. As a newish teacher, and I say newish because I was probably making it clear up until like year five or year six, but I was not planning for these formative assessments. My favorite one, and I know you’ve heard this before, is when you’re sitting in a, I’ll say this happens all the time in a faculty meeting, and this is from teachers, and so you know that They’re teaching, and they’re probably using these same phrases in classes. It could be also from your administrators, but even if you go into other classes, you might see this. And people will ask the question, like, does everyone get it?

Well, no one’s going to raise their hand and be like, I don’t get it. Well, it’s just not a good way of. Asking a question or, specifically, not a good way of doing a formative assessment. And that can be phrased in a myriad of different ways. Like, does everyone understand? Do you have Or even just opening it up to say, do you have any questions? Just doesn’t really make it so that students are getting feedback, and they’re not really getting assessed by you because you’re just standing up there asking them to give things back to you. Really what it needs to be is you need to be active on your part, and you need to be creating these questions, these formative assessments, that will really get down to the thinking.  

One of my favorite ways to save time is to use AI. If I already had a lesson plan outlined, like seriously, like bullet points, you Take it into whatever AI tool you like to use. I prefer ChatGPT, and you could actually ask it to come up with some formative assessment questions for you. Things that you could just write in, drop in, things that you could ask along the way, things that you could have students reflect on, write on, whatever you want to do.

 At least that could get you started. That’s one of my favorite ways to design and implement quick assessments. The other thing is making it of your classroom routine. And you can add this in at any point in the school year. If you did not start doing bell work or exit tickets or things at the very beginning of the school year, it is not too late. You can start doing things and say, Hey, we’re going to try something out. For that week, you try adding in formative assessments as part of the routine. And maybe you have a timer that goes off and lets them know this is the time that I want you to work on this question so that I can get it.

Get some feedback from you so that you can then in turn get feedback from me. Some other things when it comes to these quick assessments. Things to make them quicker, you could have a question, but you could also have things like sentence stems, so students just need to fill in the blank, or finish the sentence. Those can make things faster. faster for you and for your students. You could have those could be open ended.

And so they just kind of fill in maybe how they can apply what you learned today to their life or what they learned today. How could they have a metaphor or something that would go similarly to what they’re doing? Or how does this add on to what you’ve previously learned in the class? Or as a CTE teacher, I always wanted to have students reflect on what I was teaching.

In class that day, in my engineering class, how did that apply to their other classes? To help them make those, like, bridge those gaps between, like, how am I going to use this math in real life? Or how am I going to use English? But in engineering, it tended to, I guess, sink in a little bit more about how they would use it, so having them reflect on that, so intentionally they were thinking about how, what those concepts did apply to those other core areas.

And then the final thing that you need to do with formative assessments, and I mentioned it several times throughout this episode, is that you need to look at the data. And then you need to make modifications to your lessons, your instruction, your question, based on the data. And with them being quick, that’s the beauty of it being quick. It’s a quick formative assessment. You’re not taking an end of level course. And class and questions and tests and you’re not taking all of that information and making tweaks.

No, you’re just making little tweaks along the way. This idea of Kaizen, continuous improvement, these little tweaks, this feedback, looking at this data, when it comes in and making those tweaks, that is really what’s going to have the most impact on your students and your teaching is because you are making those changes along the way and you’re not waiting. Clear until next year to implement them and hopefully remember that you implement them.

Then let’s review. Today we talked about formative assessments and how we can use those to maximize our efficiency without taking a ton of time. We talked about what a quick assessment. is, and we talked about some different ideas like exit tickets or think pair share that can really help you save time, but also give feedback to your students and get feedback yourself as to what needs to be changed. We also talked about different ways of creating those formative assessments. Using AI to come up with that so that it’s really embedded and intentional.

As you create your assessments, and then finally we talked about the different ways that you can use that data and the importance of using that data immediately to make those improvements so that you can improve for your next class period, your next lesson, whenever you see those students again, and you are continuously improving as a teacher without spending a ton of time.

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