Timely Actionable Feedback with Quizster

Guest post by Danielle Maletta NBCT, High School Mathematics Teacher and Quizster power user

While I’ve taught for 18 years, there are still some pedagogical mysteries. One of these is homework. While I know there is mixed research on the effectiveness of homework, for myself and my students a little homework is necessary. Students in my class need an opportunity to test their individual understanding of the content without too much risk. I have tried a litany of approaches but I never felt like what I wanted (a means for students and I to communicate back and forth) was achieved. The best scenario was when I had students evaluate their own work and then I provided feedback. The only problem I always ran into was that the feedback I provided wasn’t timely enough as students needed to hand in their work, I had to review it and add comments, then hand it back. Furthermore, some students needed additional back-and-forth. While the feedback loop was a little tighter when I used exit tickets, I still didn’t feel like I was able to dialogue with some students to the extent that I needed. Thus, the actionable feedback part of the formative assessment cycle was lost. This was all until Quizster.

On a day homework is due, students start class with correcting their homework and discussing homework questions with their teams. In the meantime, I check that homework is completed. Students use a different color pen to make corrections and jot notes (some on paper, some via computer). Following, students either snap a picture of their homework onto Quizster or copy and paste it from their laptops. At the end of the day I review the submitted work: answer questions, make annotations on their work, give kudos, or give additional prompts for follow-up. Of the submitted student work, I would say about 30% to 40% need follow-up. I’m identifying misconceptions, answering student questions, pressing for justification, etc. Students get an alert that I have graded their work. Students then respond to my questions or prompts through Quizster so the record of ongoing communication is all kept in the same place.

I finally have a means to effectively communicate back and forth with students. I never spend a minute of class time going over homework. Students ask questions through Quizster that I am able to individually address. I have more class time for instruction, students get timely actionable feedback, and I am able to assess individual student understanding almost daily. What’s more, students don’t have to be present in class to submit or review work and I have the chance to review student work anywhere at any time using my phone, tablet, or computer.

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