Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a group of 5th graders using Naiku for the first time. Their school had just received a class set of ASUS Transformer tablets. The students and their teacher were excited to use the devices. They were equally excited to use Naiku for the first time.
It was their second day with the tablets. On this day, they had planned to take a short assessment on the Persian War using Naiku on the tablets. It was this activity that I was particularly interested in. As I often like to do, I visited to observe the class as they embarked on their Naiku journey.
The test was a success. The students loved taking the test on Naiku. They even did the reflection exercise. After taking the short 10-question quiz, the students immediately knew how they did. They even got a chance to go back into each item to reflect on how they did. As their teacher explained to them, “This is your chance to go back and tell me how you did. If you got it right, tell me why you got it right. If you got it wrong, tell me why. Did you guess correctly? Or did you make a mistake? This is like taking a test like you’ve never done before. This is going to be so cool.”
Well, the students did think it was cool. They loved the immediate results. And they loved being able to give feedback to their teacher.
What came next was unplanned. I didn’t know if the class was prepared for this, since this was their first time on Naiku. But seeing how well the 10-question quiz went, I suggested that the teacher try the new Naiku Quick Question application. This would allow the teacher to quickly ask more questions, in a more informal way. It was an opportunity to take a quick pulse of the class immediately after the quiz.
The students loved this even more than the 10 question quiz. The teacher first asked some “silly” questions like whether he should bring donuts to the class next week. He then asked some questions regarding the Persian War. What the students loved about this activity was being able to see how many students in the class picked whatever the options were. They could immediately see how many picked Yes or No. They could see how many picked A, B, C, D or E. They loved being able to change their responses and seeing it change immediately on the screen. They felt like they were on a game show. Little did the students know that their teacher was engaging them in effective formative assessment.
As the class came to an end, one student said to me “Thank you for making Naiku.” I was touched by that. All I could reply was “You’re welcome. And thank you!”