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Assignment 3:

Argumentative Essay
Socrative

Mg. Roxanna Correa

Assessment Methods and Approaches to the


Teaching of English as a Second Language.

Valentina Leonor Acuña Z.


María Belén Quezada C.

Concepción, 2018
Nowadays, it is possible to observe that people’s lifestyle has been hugely
influenced by the use of new technologies. These have been of great help in the
different areas to which we are exposed daily. One of the most significant areas and
where more benefits can be obtained from the correct use of these technologies is
undoubtedly education. According to Smeets (2005), the ICT integration within
education could stimulate the curriculum differentiation and also, autonomous learning.
Considering the above, we believe that the employment of tools that are significant is
necessary. Indeed, not only it is important for the learning of students, but also for the
teachers when concerning assessment. Hence, we choose a digital interactive
application called Socrative which assesses learners through the employment of digital
devices such as computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. According to Socrative
(n.d.) website, this is a tool which “Quickly assess students with prepared activities or
on-the-fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding. Then use auto-
populated results to determine the best instructional approach to most effectively drive
learning” (¶ 3). Therefore, Socrative can be considered as a useful tool to be analyzed,
due to its variety of questionnaires and quizzes to assess pupils. Some of them can be
true or false, multiple choice, short answers, among others. In addition, some of the
quizzes present a time limit to be answered while others present the ranking of students
result. This digital instrument will be scrutinized to corroborate if it is appropriate to
assess one language system, which will be vocabulary, focusing on its advantages and
disadvantages.
First of all, one of the greatest advantages that Socrative has is that it offers a
database with already existing evaluations which teachers can apply at the beginning of
the course in order to know the breadth of vocabulary knowledge that the pupils have.
Read (2007) states that “For second language learners, vocabulary assessment can
reveal the extent of the lexical gap they face in coping with authentic reading materials
and undertaking other communicative tasks in the target language” (p. 107). Hence, this
digital tool allows the teacher to know the base that their learners have, in this particular
case with vocabulary to be aware of the learners’ previous knowledge, so that he or she
can properly reinforce the weakest areas through a variety of quizzes. In addition, the
teacher can plan the classes based on the students’ context taking into consideration
the level of English of the learners, and their social context to make it more valid,
authentic and meaningful for them.
Secondly, another significant advantage that Socrative has in terms of evaluation
is the immediate feedback that this software can offer. According to Brookhart (2008),
the feedback is a transcendental part of the assessment since it not only informs the
teachers about the objectives that the students are reaching, but also learners benefit
from this by being aware of their progress. Regarding the relevance of the previous
information, learners can access the content and check their answers as many times as
they want. Since Socrative presents a student-centred approach, students learn at their
own pace while checking if they understood the explanation or activity. Consequently,
pupils might become more critical about their own work by revising aspects in which
they have less score to emphasize them with more detail. Moreover, learners are able
to know whether or not their answer to a question is correct instantaneously in normal
Quiz Mode or Space Race. Also, the group quiz mode offers the opportunity for a
discussion at any time during the class. Therefore, the teacher can provide a more
detailed explanation of any doubt or misunderstanding.
On the other hand, one disadvantage to take into consideration regarding this
software is that the tests and quizzes are not available outside the classroom. Since
Socrative works by having students enter the code of their teacher's room, which allows
them to perform any test or activity that the teacher wants. The laptop or device that the
teacher will use, must be connected to the same wireless signal that the devices of the
pupils to perform any of the activities or quizzes of Socrative. For instance, the teacher
can not transmit a quiz and ask learners to take it at home. However, this can also be
seen as an advantage for others, due to the fact that students performing the activities
inside the classroom allows the teacher to clarify some doubts that can emerge within
the class. Besides, it is important to mention that this digital tool works only with an
internet connection. Thus, teachers must be aware of the reality, context and conditions
that their schools have in terms of internet access.
As a conclusion, and taking into consideration the advantages and
disadvantages previously mentioned, it is hugely important to adapt the ways of
teaching and assessing the students who are living in the current social context. That is
why we absolutely recommend to our colleagues this digital tool to be used for
assessing learners. It is important to highlight that this tool can be applied in any school
context that has internet access; Socrative can be used for any subject that the
teachers impart. However, we suggest that the employment of this digital application
should be from 6th grade, due to the fact that children from below levels may easily
distract. According to the use of this tool for assessing vocabulary, we conclude that it is
highly probable that Socrative will be useful for many teachers who want to know the
range of words their students are able to acquire. Moreover, the use of Socrative as an
assessment tool could help in terms of practicality because teachers can save time due
to the easy correction of questions. Also, by the use of multiple choice and T/F
questions, we as teachers can be absolutely sure that it is reliable enough due to lack of
bias. Apart from that, we must not forget about the usefulness of this tool in order to
provide a strong washback, providing feedback, showing the right alternative and the
individual scores. However, it is necessary that the internet connection of the computer
and digital devices should be verified to apply this tool effectively.

Number of words: 1039


References

Brookhart, S. (2008). How to give effective feedback to your students. Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development: Virginia. Retrieved from
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9XcT-0nBvBoTUMzWDByZHhkMVU

Read, J. (2007). Second language vocabulary assessment: Current practices and new
directions. International Journal of English Studies, vol. 7(2), pp.105-126.

Smeets, E. (2005) Does ICT contribute to powerful learning environments in primary


education?, Computers & Education vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 343-355. Retrieved from
https://www.tlu.ee/~kpata/haridustehnoloogiaTLU/primarypowerfulenvironments.
pdf

Socrative. (n.d.). Meet Socrative. Retrieved from https://socrative.com/