Monday, July 25, 2011

A Beautiful Answer Garden

In an age of formative and summative assessments, teachers always need ways to gather data to drive instruction. Now I may not have a green thumb, but I have found one garden that even I can create and use to enhance learning and assessment techniques. Answer Garden is such a great and easy tool to use to gather snapshots of information. It is flexible enough to use before, during, or after a lesson. To create a garden follow these easy steps:

1. Type a task or question into the topic box.
2. Determine if you want to gather unlimited answers.
3. Create an admin password (for editing purposes).
4. Include an email to receive the password and link.
5. Click create.
6. Check your email; copy and paste the link to your website. You can also choose to share or embed.

Here is what an Answer Garden BEFORE it starts to bloom with answers.

Share one thing you've learned about renewable energy.... at

1. No login required
2. Very easy to integrate
3. Provides quick feedback to drive the direction of instruction

Applications in Science:
1. Gather information on prior background knowledge on science concepts (erosion, geocentrism, motion, etc.)
2. Share the link on a social network to crowdsource responses outside of classroom on a topic so students can see outside perspectives.
3. Use as an exit slip after a lecture.
4. Use during a lesson as a Think-Post-Share.

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