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Collecting Real-Time Student Data

Gauge students’ understanding in a remote-friendly way as you go through a lesson


Building in frequent checks for understanding (CFUs) throughout a lesson can provide powerful data for teachers. Teachers can use this data in real time to adjust their instruction and provide additional supports for students who may need them. Teachers can quickly pivot to differentiated small groups, one-to-one instruction, or have students help each other based on the results of this instantaneous data.

Instead of administering an exit ticket at the end of a lesson or a quiz at the conclusion of a unit, teachers can incorporate remote-friendly real-time CFUs to collect ongoing data in the middle of a lesson. Teachers can collect this data anonymously to gauge understanding of the class as a whole, or individually to check in on each student’s progress. By leveraging digital platforms, the CFUs are accessible for all students regardless of their physical location.

Anonymous data may help students be more honest and allow them to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Try building in pauses throughout a lesson to check how well students are understanding the content. Some examples of anonymous, remote-friendly data collection include:

  • Polls: Using digital polls is a quick and easy way to get a pulse check of the classroom. Zoom has a built-in polling feature, or teachers can use an external platform such as Poll Everywhere.

  • Digital interactive board: Jamboard allows students to share their thoughts by dropping sticky notes onto a digital whiteboard; Jamboard is built into Google Suite, so any schools using Google Apps for Education can enable it. Teachers can also use Padlet to capture student ideas.

Individual data identifies student names with each answer and offers teachers insight into each student’s understanding of the content. This can help teachers provide targeted support to students and personalize instruction. Although teachers can see individual responses, many platforms allow you to share exemplars with the class while keeping names hidden, so students can see each other’s work anonymously. Here are some robust platforms for individual data collection:

  • Student response systems: GoFormative and Classkick allow teachers to create interactive formative assessments (drawing, images, audio, text) and collect student responses.

  • Class presentation tools: PearDeck and Nearpod are dynamic presentation platforms that have formative assessments embedded into the tool.

Strategy Resources

GoFormative Real-Time Results

This screenshot shows the real-time data from a geometry class where students were asked to... Learn More

A table showing 10 student submissions of an obtuse angle. 8 correct submissions have a green mark in the corner and 2 incorrect submissions have a red mark in the corner.