Checking for Understanding - Virtually!

  • How can I check for student understanding at key points in the lesson to make instructional decisions based on real time data?

    As an educator it is important to understand how the connection between engagement, total participation, and formative assessment act as a cohesive set of teacher moves designed to actively check for understanding of student learning. (Click here to access the full "Virtual Check for Understanding"  presentation and resources.)

    According to Fisher and Frey (2014) checking for understanding has three main components:

    •Feed-up: Clarifying the purpose. 
    •Feedback: Responding to student work.
    •Feed-forward: Modifying instruction.
    Additionally the authors state:

    "Checking for understanding completes the circle of assessment, planning, and instruction by providing teachers and students with evidence of learning. In addition, it is consistent with several other educational innovations, including Understanding by Design and differentiated instruction. Use these guiding questions to incorporate checking for understanding in your practice:

    •Do I know what misconceptions my students possess?
    •How do I know what they understand?
    •What evidence will I accept for this understanding?
    •How will I use their understandings to plan future instruction?"
    Click here to read the article: Why Check for Understanding?


  • Checking for Understaning - Virtually

    When considering strategies for checking for understanding virtually, the pedagogy remains the same, however the tools and delivery method may differ. 

    Do you miss the traditional brick and mortar instructional setting when we were able to walk around the classroom to look over student shoulders and peer at their work? Give student feedback in the moment? There are so many ways to achieve this digitally! The key is focused, intentional planning and using the right tools to get the job done efficiently and effectively. 

    In the article, Formative Assessment in Virtual Learning (Miller 2020) states:

    Check for understanding in synchronous sessions: Those in-the-moment checks for understanding that we did in the classroom were valuable, allowing us to adjust instruction and meet students where they were. That kind of check-in is still important...These check-ins help you provide just-in-time feedback, and can guide your thinking about who might need further support later through resources, intervention, or small-group instruction through breakout groups in a synchronous session.”