Friday, May 16, 2008

Of classroom software and assessment

Although it is the May mini-mester and there are relatively few students we are keeping busy with various projects. Next week will be a bit more busy with several workshops for faculty and also for IL librarians as well. I will be conducting a short training (something of a refresher course) on our classroom equipment. We have a SMARTBoard, along with Synchroneyes classroom control software and Senteo clickers. We are all at different levels of comfort with these tools.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who uses any or all of these tools, and any interesting tidbits about using them in the classroom. One of the things we noticed about the SMARTBoard is that because our classroom is good-sized, it can be difficult for visibility with large classes. I myself love to use it with smaller classes, in particular with ESL classes. I have done a desultory search on google for more (Synchoneyes and assessment in particular) but haven't found much in the literature as of yet.

We will be testing the Synchroneyes quiz function this summer hopefully to see if it is better or easier to use for our Freshmen English assessment. We have gotten through two semesters with Surveymonkey, which works pretty well, but is a bit awkward in terms of delivery (the teacher has to send the quiz link to the students). The other consideration though, is the ease of availability of the raw scores/results. Surveymonkey has a download feature that lets you get the raw scores and results along with other information in an excel file. It has also been helpful to be able to print out the surveys in case of technical malfunction, and then enter in the paper responses manually, which is another feature of Surveymonkey.

At any rate, I foresee a future blog post once I know more, comparing one and the other.

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