Formative assessment is an integral part of student learning and can, at times, be under-utilized in a science or mathematics curriculum. This, in part, is due to teachers not always getting the necessary support and resources needed for developing and implementing wide-scale formative assessments.
AppleSTEM, we have developed sets of formative assessment modules for a variety of mathematics topics. Our modules employ a “mirror problem-solving” approach that makes it easier for students to get needed feedback immediately, while they are solving a problem. The way it works is that the student and the computer are given similar, but conceptually identical problems to solve. The student can control how much of the computer’s progress is revealed at any given time. The computer shows each step of the problem-solving process and provides a short explanation of what it did.
Each web-based assessment module contains at least 100 problems to be solved. The problems are group into three categories: easy, medium, and hard. Initial problems are at the easy level and the level of difficulty increases as the student’s success in problem solving increases.
Because our modules focus on formative assessment, they are adaptable to many different learning environments. Traditional direct instruction, differentiated learning, flipped classrooms, and independent learning are all compatible with AppleSTEM’s assessment modules as part of the formative assessment process. Using our system provides teachers with more time to work directly with students and to develop better instructional activities.