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Using Mixed Mobile Computing Devices for Real-Time Formative Assessment

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Tablets, Mobile and Technology

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1328.1 - 23.1328.14



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Paper Authors


Frank V Kowalski Colorado School of Mines

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Prof. Frank Kowalski has been teaching physics at Colorado School of Mines since 1980.

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Susan E. Kowalski Colorado School of Mines

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Susan Kowalski is project coordinator at Colorado School of Mines.

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Tracy Q Gardner Colorado School of Mines

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Using Mixed Mobile Computing Devices for Real-Time Formative AssessmentIncreasingly affordable mobile computing devices can be used effectively to facilitatereal-time formative assessment. Students equipped with pen-enabled iPads, Androiddevices, and/or tablet PCs can use digital ink to reveal their thinking as they constructnew understandings of concepts.InkSurvey is free, web-based software designed specifically for collecting real-timeformative assessment. During the learning process, the instructor poses open format,embedded questions to probe student understanding. Students respond with words,drawings, graphs, or equations “inked” on either their own devices or those provided bythe institution. The construction of these responses actively engages the students with thesubject material and increases student metacognition. The instructor, instantaneouslyreceiving this feedback, has a real-time glimpse into the minds of the students and canaddress lingering questions, repair misconceptions, and make better use of class time.We describe significant recent improvements to InkSurvey that have made it more fullyfunctional on a greater variety of devices and more user-friendly for both instructors andstudents. Classroom results are presented.This paper also provides a brief overview of some of the varied applications and settingsin which the use of InkSurvey has been explored, including increasing learning gains,improving problem-solving skills, and enhancing the effectiveness of computersimulations gains in engineering physics and chemical engineering physics courses. Useoutside of the traditional classroom of this technology-based teaching tool, for example ina distance-learning environment or for Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT), is also discussed.Real-time formative assessment collected with InkSurvey is blind to gender, personalitybiases, and other stereotypes, making it a particularly effective tool in group andcooperative learning environments. This also opens the door to additional applications innon-academic settings as well.

Kowalski, F. V., & Kowalski, S. E., & Gardner, T. Q. (2013, June), Using Mixed Mobile Computing Devices for Real-Time Formative Assessment Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22713

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