Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team, provided a hands-on continuing professional development session for staff at St Bernadette’s Primary School on the use of Smart Response tools to support Assessment for Learning.
Smart Response tools work in tandem with Smart Board interactive whiteboard software and provide a means for teachers to get feedback from all of their pupils in their class. This can be before a class starts work on a new topic in any curricular area in order to guage the prior learning of pupils, or they can be used regularly during a teaching session to let the teacher keep ensuring pupils have understood each step before proceeding to the next step (or quickly pick up where different teaching strategies might be required), or as an assessment at the end of a teaching session.
Sometimes called classroom response systems, class voting tools or clickers, these Smart Response tools are just one type of the many tools now available specifically to help gather feedback from all pupils in a class. These let teachers get a quick response at the beginning, during or end of a teaching session. This way the teacher has a wider overview of the undertsanding at any time of the whole class and not just of a few individual pupils. Used as part of an Assessment for Learning strategy a teacher can change the pace or direction of teaching to take account of responses from pupils.
There are many free pre-created templates and question sets ready to be downloaded and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of their own pupils. Click here for the online Smart Exchange site where these can be downloaded.