Ask the Experts: Apps for Assessment

Q: My students get easily bored during assessment week, watching their classmates do the same routine over and over. What apps do you recommend for jazzing up assessments?

A: Most of the time, dance teachers assess their students by watching them and using their own expertise to decide how much their students have learned. But because assessment is so important, you should think about formalizing it—and even consider allowing your students to be part of the process. An app that allows you to give quizzes or poll your class is a great option for assessment.

Many free quiz apps are buggy or just a front for a paid app. I’ve listed a few solid options below, but I’d recommend GoClass most highly. Though it’s ostensibly a platform for flipping your classroom, at its simplest, you can use GoClass to create assessments that are multiple-choice and short-answer, or even just use the app to poll the room. Students respond from their devices and the results all come to you right away.

You can use any of these apps like you would a rubric. For example: After the class watches some students perform, allow them to assess each other with a quiz. This will not only give them a chance to reflect on what they’ve seen but also give you a chance to see what they’ve learned.

GoClass Includes options to assess and poll students, which can be timed if necessary.

QuizOperator Automatically calculates scores.

Quiz Studio Upgrade to the Pro version ($1.99) to access all of the testing features, including five different test types.

Note: If your curriculum integrates with language arts or math, then you might need to note the Common Core Standards in your assessment plans. If so, then you’re in luck: Now there’s a free Common Core Standards app.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

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