Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Use Spiral to Assess Students on a Whole New Level

It always amazes me how classroom technologies are changing the instructional process. There are a variety of tools available to teachers to help students understand and interact with content, provide timely feedback, and engage students differently. If you are a fan of NearPod, then you will love a similar tool called Spiral.


Spiral is a powerful formative assessment tool, which is very similar to programs like NearPod and Socrative. Teachers can create a free account on Spiral's website. You can link your social media or Google account to Spiral. Students need to visit gospiral.ac, join your class through a code, and provide their name.

Once you login to Spiral, you will be able to access your dashboard with a variety of options:

  • Quickfire - the perfect way to ask a question on the fly. For example, if you asked a verbal question, you can have your students respond in an open-ended way. You can mark the response correct or have students improve their response! 

  • Discuss - allows you to present a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation in an interactive way.  Students can see a slide and answer pre-generated questions about the contents. This is a great way to see how students are understanding the information. 
  • Team Up - is a unique collaborative feature. Spiral pairs up students to work together to create a presentation using Spiral. Students can then present information to the class from the site. 
  • Clip - allows you to create a new level of interaction with video clips that you use in your class. Students can respond to multiple choice or open-ended questions at various points in the video clip. 



What I Like!

There are a variety of features that I like about Spiral: 
  • I like the fact that you can have students improve or resubmit their response. This is something that has been lacking in other formative assessment tools. 
  • You can manually mark responses as right. This is a great way for checking for understanding. 
  • Teachers can see how long it took a student to respond to the question.
  • Spiral even groups similar answers together to make it easier to organize student responses. 
  • The Discuss interface makes seeing content and responding to questions seamless. 
  • You can make videos interactive! Students can answer questions and make comments throughout the video clip. 





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