Spark for Assessment Lucas Wickham

Assessment Potential

Students create a video to demonstrate understanding of the French Revolution. They make a series of images that reflect the themes and characters in Hamlet. A group makes a webpage that describes results from a chemistry lab.

Or summarize an in-class discussion on the Arab Spring with a series of posters.

Or create a tourism guide for the south of France.

Or make a webpage explaining how Bernoulli's equation leads to airplane flight.

Or make a campaign video for Herbert Hoover.

Regardless, students can demonstrate what they know and what they've learned through video, images, and text in a visually compelling way.

It's also super easy.

Adobe Spark is a series of tools for creating engaging webpages (like this one), videos (like the one at the top of this page), and posts (like the one below).

The tools are available for free online and through three iOS apps. They offer a wide range of pre-designed themes, including movie transitions, fonts, colors, music, and layouts. Students can create a post in just a minute, create a video with their own voiceover, or create a page with embedded images or video from YouTube, Vimeo, or something they've created with Spark.

As a teacher, you can use Spark to engage students, inform parents, promote events, or even flip the classroom. From an assessment perspective, you can see what students know and are able to present. Since some of the formats are limited (the post, for example), students have to distill their knowledge down to just the most essential components, and share those. This really shows if they "got it" or are just repeating what they've seen or read.

Videos can show student thinking and reasoning as they explain a topic in their own words. Pages can demonstrate higher-order thinking like arguing one side of a debate relevant tot he curriculum, organizing an array of information in a logical way, or creating something totally new related to their studies.

Creating content is easy and requires very little familiarity with technology, as shown by Richard Byrne here:

All in all, Spark is a Web 2.0 tool that looks promising for engagement, communication, and assessment.

Credits:

Created with images by Pexels - "book book pages close-up" • Phil Roeder - "Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum"

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