In this episode of The PE Geek podcast, we explore a collection of tools you can utilise to assess students in team game or practical situations. This includes tools that require no student devices or internet access as well as those that require individual or shared access to smartphones & laptops.

Resources mentioned include;
1. Plickers, Socrative & Kahoot
2. Google Forms & Autocrat
3. Seesaw

Press play to listen to the episode below or listen here. Watch this episode on YouTube here. Alternatively, download a full episode transcript here

Read Full Transcript

[00:00:29] Jarrod Robinson: Hello everyone and welcome to episode number 89 of the PE Geek Podcast and as always it’s an absolute pleasure to have you here. Now, if you’re brand new to joining us here on the podcast we dive into different technologies and different things that you could do in a phys ed classroom and we release these episodes every two weeks and it gives us an opportunity to share some of the great stuff that people are doing in the forms of interviews with some amazing phys ed teachers

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as well as me diving into episodes that are thematically grouped together.

Now, in today’s episode we’re going to be diving into a couple of ways that you could assess a group of players or a group of students during team games. And we’re going to talk about some of the tools that I’ve used and share a little bit about one of the ways that I did this just recently in a classroom. And how it basically was almost invisible to the students, the assessment.

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We were able to capture some information about themselves and how they rated themselves and their partners and so on. And it didn’t get in the way of the lesson, so that was the real focus and the tech sort of made that possible. So, let’s dive into it.

Now, often I get asked by people during the PE Geek Workshops which you can go and find out about at thepegeek.com/events, but I get asked the question I’d like to do assessment, obviously

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it’s a requirement of what we do. However, I feel that it takes away from the actual activity time and I certainly appreciate that dilemma. However, there are a collection of tools that you can leverage in today’s day and age that really sort of make it a little bit more invisible and really sort of work to help you collect information but don’t really get in the way of the students as much as traditional tools might have and

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so on. And  they obviously scale really well too, because some of the traditional tools that you might have assessed with in the past would, you would collect, I’m just thinking here a piece of paper, you would collect it and then you would be forced to do something with that and compile it together and you’d end up spending a lot of time doing that. So the benefit of the digital tools is that they have the fluidity of some of these traditional methods and ease of

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capture and so on, but then they’ve got the ability to aggregate whatever it is that you’re collecting with the students.

So I’m going to dive into a couple of tools that you can use to do that and the first tool I really want to mention is a tool called Socrative. Now Socrative is something that I’ve spoken about over the years and it enables you to do very simple polls and questions like

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multiple choice questions, short answer questions and even submission style questions and they allow the students to, from their own devices, submit their answers. So, to help you with this context I want you to think of a classroom scenario, just any sort of team game scenario, a practical activity. And at the end of the lesson you would have a couple of minutes where you were asking some questions about

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what had happened during that particular session. So that’s the sort of context that we’re talking about here and Socrative could be used for that. Obviously in this case each student would require a device and that device would either be a laptop or a phone or an iPad or you could share devices amongst students. But you as the teacher could very easily have a serious of a couple of questions set up with Socrative which is free, the students sit down at the end of the lesson and during your reflection or

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talking through what was learned discussion at the end of the class they submit their answers. And then as you leave the class you’ve got a collection of their thoughts or rating on themselves or whatever it was that you were trying to collect for that session.

Now, a very simple thing to do would be to actually ask them questions related to whatever the learning outcomes were for that particular session. So you might have two or three questions, they ask, they answer them and you get to, get a bit of a reading on how much

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they actually took away from that class. It’s not definitive, it’s not a map to data or anything but it’s a great little insight into what the students thought about the session or whatever it may be. As well as that, Socrative, as well as doing multiple choice and short answer and so on, Socrative has an exit ticket system as well. So, you can do what’s called an exit ticket and the students need to leave a little bit of a reflection on what they learned or whatever as the ticket to get out

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of the session. So that’s that great way to utilize that tool and you can easily go and set it up very quickly just by visiting Socrative.com, creating an account and then the students don’t need accounts, they simply type in a room code that’s yours and it ties you and the teacher together with the students and they can submit any of the answers that you’ve made for them to answer.

Now, that obviously is a tool that relies upon the use of having devices for students. The

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next tool is very similar in that you need to have a device per student or in patterns and it’s called Kahoot. Now, Kahoot is something I’ve blogged about a little bit and it’s very similar to Socrative in that you can ask specific types of questions, multiple choice for example. And it obviously creates in this case a game out of this. So opposed to Socrative being just you and the student answering the question and no they don’t really

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get rated amongst their peers and so on. Kahoot takes that to the next level where you could create almost like a game out of the answering of questions at the end of the session. So imagine you are teaching a volleyball unit and you want to sort of track the understanding of the students about rules and so on then you could create a very simple five to ten question multiple choice quiz that you did via Kahoot at the very end and then

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the students could answer those questions and then there would be a bit of a summary of what they knew and what they didn’t know around that sport. And I can guarantee you if you’ve ever participated in a Kahoot before you’ll know how excited students get around playing it, it’s really well done. Definitely gets people pumped up and enthusiastic about participating in these styles of things and you can tie it very well to being able to collect some data around whatever it was that you were doing. So, if you want to create a Kahoot account then you can do so

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very easily by just going to getkahoot.com and again it’s free, sign up. You can search through millions of different quizzes that are already there or you can just start to create your own. Like I said, if you were doing a volleyball unit I would image that if you searched volleyball you would find something that you could use straight away or maybe remove a couple of questions from, add a couple of questions to and you have it.

So great end of lesson quizzes are probably what categorizes those first

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two tools and like I said they do require that you have access to devices.

Now, the next tool I want to share with you is Plickers. Now, Plickers is basically if you get the word paper and clickers and put it together you’ve got Plickers. And this tool is really quite impressive. It’s been around for many years now but the basic premise is that you create questions

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very much like you would for Socrative and you have your list of students and each student is tied to a piece of paper that has essentially a QR code like scannable code on that piece of paper. And you can have forty-five plus different codes that map to forty-five plus different students and you give the students their card which is numbered and then the students hold the card up

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in one of four different orientations. So if they hold it straight up and down then that might resemble an A answer and if they put it on 90 degrees and have it in that orientation that might be B and C and D and so on. So the four, if you think of a square, each side resembles A, B,C or D from a multiple choice response. And all the students need to do is see what the question is and then hold it in the orientation that

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they think it matches with. And then the teacher uses their phone, so they’re the only person that needs to have a device, their phone or their iPad or tablet and they scan the QR code or the Plickers code and because it’s able to recognize what the student, that question is related to and the orientation of it it’s able to map that. And so to them. So to give you a bit of an idea about how

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we did this recently with a year seven, so thirteen years of age class that was doing a netball unit. What we basically did was we had the student’s participating in game play. We were learning about different strategies for invasion and defensive strategies and they were playing an actual game of netball which was broken up into five minute quarters. So we’re going to do four quarters, five minutes a piece, playing the game, and

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the students were going to be doing some assessment throughout that process. Now, different to the previous two methods where the students would have required a device and obviously you would need time and so on to coordinate that, the Plickers tool made it possible where the kids didn’t even need to have a device, and what they only needed was a piece of paper, their number, their Plickers card, and to listen to whatever the question was that was being posed.

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Now, what basically led to happening was at the end of the quarters, so at the end of five minutes we would pose a question about what we were focusing on during that particular quarter and the questions were about all sorts of different things that mapped with the learning objectives and then the students would literally walk up and they would place their Plickers card, which on the back of it had a piece of glue tack or blue tack and they would

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literally put it on the wall and by putting it on the wall they were sort of saying what their answer was for that question and then they would go back to game play. And we would simply when the game play was taking place scan the wall, because they were all grouped together and we would instantly get all 25 plus students, their responses from those questions, altogether and we were able to get this very simple, very easy collection of

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responses to these questions without really the students needing to do anything but know what they wanted to respond as. And this meant that in terms of the time for coordinating the assessment we really sort of maximized the game play. And we were still able to capture some really useful data but it wasn’t being abused through a tool that made it really difficult for students to actually respond or

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they had to be logging into somewhere, it just sort of made it very fluid. So we would then take the next quarter or the next piece of game play and the students would have some next questions that they had to respond to and the prompt for that question was literally just a piece of paper that was sitting up next to where they were going to put their Plickers cards and then we’d stop play, we’d reiterate what the question was and what they were needing to respond to. And then they would go and place their Plickers card again or move in a

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different orientation. And they we would scan it. And at the end of the game play we had posed a series of questions and we had data for each kid in the class around their answers and it had mapped perfectly into the brakes that we would have given them anyway if we were playing five minute games and then having a bit of a break. So, Plickers absolutely recommend it. If you head over to thepegeek.com/89 for episode

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89, you can download the set of Plickers cards that we used for that activity. We’ve slightly modified them from the Plickers cards that you get as standard inside of the Plickers app, you can download them, they’ve got the PE Geek logo on them and a few other little bits and pieces. And yeah you can use those in your practice. So that’s Plickers.

Now, if you’re looking for something that was a little bit more detailed and maybe gave the students a bit

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of a report when it was completed then you should look at utilizing something like Google Forms. Now, I’ve done entire episodes on Google Forms in the past, just go and search for that at thepegeek.com, put in Google Forms and you’ll find posts and posts around how to use Google Forms. But, if you’re unfamiliar then a form, a Google Form is basically a digital form that you get the ability to create. So, you’ve probably filled out a form before at

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the doctor’s or anywhere like that and you get the ability to build forms that when submitted put all the questions together into a spreadsheet. Then you get the ability to do lots of stuff after that. But at its most basic a Google Form does what I just explained. You could use this almost as an assessment of the game play or assessment of the practical activity and the students from their devices or from one class device that you rotate

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throughout the session they visit the Google Form link or maybe they scan a QR code that takes them to the link for Google Form so that you don’t have to be typing in links. And then the students put in their name and then the answers to the series of questions that you’ve posed whether they’re short answer or multiple choice or tick the box or rating style questions. Then those responses are then saved to a Google Form. Then the students are able

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to potentially have that data even emailed to them if they put in an email address in with their replies.

Now, you as the teacher, you get to do some pretty crazy, cool things with the data that you collect in a Google Form. So, in the backend of a Google Form you can very easily select and get data around the different percentages of replies. So, if you had a yes/no answer or a multiple choice answer you could see that 22% of students

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said A and etc., and get a bit of a feel for how your teaching was impacting their knowledge. But you can take it even further. So, what you can do is utilize these things called extensions and add ons and one of them is called AutoCrat. So that’s A-U-T-O-C-R-A-T. And AutoCrat lets you get the replies and map them to a template document.

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Now, a template document can be literally a word document style but in Google Docs and where the data is placed is totally up to you but it’s a template so you could imagine a student report for a fitness test for example or a student basketball skill test and as the students are filling out their replies to their Google Form their answers are being placed into the template document in the places where you said

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that data should go. At the very end of them submitting a form it creates the template document with their replies and it reads almost like a report on their activities. So to give you an example of this we did this in a basketball unit and as the students were doing a bit of a self-assessment of their ability and skills they were ticking boxes and doing ratings, their replies were ending up in the form and then the template document

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was putting their replies into the template and then it would email me and them a report and it would basically say the students name and have almost like a very well written report that helped me because I would just print these out and include them in their take home reports and so on as evidence of the things that they have achieved. And it just made it very easy for me to collate information rather than just seeing it as data and numbers, sort of

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really difficult to analyze, AutoCrat took that data and made it much more readable.

Now, the tool that I’ve mentioned so far are sort of tools that you could use to capture some student assessment, some peer assessment, even you could be completing the Google Forms on behalf of the students as a teacher assessment. But obviously they’re all sort of written based, they’re all replies to answers. So what about if you wanted to do some sort of assessment that was a bit more

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perhaps video based or photography based?

Now, one way that you could achieve that is through a tool that would enable you to capture these things and then go back later and assess them. The tool that I would recommend for that would be Seesaw. We’ve done, again, blog posts on this before, spoken about it. But Seesaw is a portfolio tool. Each kids gets an account that’s tied to your teacher account and they basically can film stuff that

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they’ve done or take photos or do audio recordings, text, word, whatever and those files end up on their personal portfolio.

So the way that this maps with assessment is you’re not going to necessarily be taking up the class time to do the assessment which would get in the way of maybe the activity but you could very easily identify a few kids each lesson, use the free Seesaw app which is mind blowing because it’s on every device you could run on Google Chrome,

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Android devices, phones, whatever you can use it. You could film the class or a specific kid or a collection of kids, select those kids from the list and then that video gets saved to their portfolio and then later on you can log into the Seesaw site, click on the kid you want to see some information about and you can see all the videos and all the photos that you’ve collected for them and then you could do the assessment. So amazing way to capture

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evidence for the things that we talk about and then be able to take it a bit further with maybe some sort of assessment of the thing that you’re watching. But it just means that we don’t have to be doing the physical assessment then and there in the class which I know some people are very hesitant to do.

So, over the course of the tools that we’ve looked at, we’ve looked at some that you require students to have a device for or share, we’ve looked at Plickers where it’s no devices at all and very seamlessly builds and integrates its way into a classroom and

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then we’ve looked at Seesaw where you can collect data, collect videos and photos and then maybe assess them later on. So from that list there is a great selection of tools, certainly there are other tools in this space that you may use for assessment purposes if you do have a tool that you like then get in touch with me on social media, let me know, I’d love to check it out and maybe have you come onto the PE Geek podcast and share it with the audience.

But that’ll be all for episode

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  1. As always you can head over to thepegeek.com and see all the resources and links to different things that we’ve mentioned throughout this episode and I look forward to talking with you in episode 90. See you later!.

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