As students return to classrooms, new software gives teachers real-time feedback during tests

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ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
New software gives teachers instant feedback during tests, lessons
As kids return to the classroom, teachers want to assess and monitor their progress early on after last school year's remote learning.

VACAVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- As kids return to the classroom, teachers want to assess and monitor their progress early on after last school year's remote learning. Many of them have turned to a teacher-developed software program that seems tailored for immediate feedback.

Tracking student achievement has always had a lag time because testing is done weeks or months later. Welcome to a new world of real-time learning assessment called Formative.

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"This works when you use feedback in your classroom, and you give students insight into what standards are falling behind on a day-to-day basis. You can have much better outcomes for everyone," said Formative co-founder and CEO Craig Jones, a former eighth grade science teacher in Southern California.

The software incorporate a teacher's existing lesson plans and allows the teacher to monitor each student's response to questions, almost as though the teacher is peering over the student's shoulder.

"All they have to do is teach, and we show immediate insights that teachers usually are stopping class instantly and just saying, OK, let's talk about this right now," said Jones.

Analytics track correct and wrong answers with color-coded displays. The teacher can see if a student is struggling to write a math formula. The concept is to intervene and to enhance learning as it's happening. The basic software is free, and it is winning praise from math teacher Amanda Stokholm at Vacaville's Will C. Wood High School.

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"We get live data from them as they're taking the test, so we can see what they record, what they write what they upload as they're taking it," she explained. "So we're really able to address needs almost immediately when we're seeing them take the test."

Formative is being used all over the U.S. Teachers from been hearing about it from each other and trying it in their classrooms. Some administrators have adopted it district-wide.

Research indicates the instant feedback can accelerate learning by as much as eight months per student.

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