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Using SMART's Response System to Assess Student Knowledge

By Bright Hub Education Writer

Are you looking for new assessment ideas for your class? Try the SMART Student Response System and you may never look at assessment the same way again.

SMART Response

The SMART student response system is a great way to keep a close eye on the academic growth of the students in your class. It will save you time, produce formative and summative assessments, and add a new level of student involvement to your teaching.

It is probably easier than you think to integrate this flexible assessment tool into your teaching. Here are some great ways to use it in your classroom today.

Instant Questions

Question Types Once you have set up your SMART Response class, the quickest and easiest way to start an assessment is to utilize the instant question feature. It needs no preparation, and can be set up as quickly as it takes for the students to turn on their devices.

Imagine that you have just introduced and taught a new topic. You are about to assign some practice papers, but you want to be sure that the class has understood what you told them before you let them embark on their assignments. Simply open the Notebook software, choose one or more instant questions, and you will quickly have a snapshot of your student's understanding. You can poll the class on their understanding with true/false questions, yes/no questions, multiple choice questions, or numerical answer questions.

The teacher can ask the question orally, write it on the board, or assign a question from a textbook, and students can reply safe in the knowledge that their peers do not know their answers. Once they have all responded, you can view the class results as a pie chart or as a bar graph. This can be viewed as a whole class on a projector or SMART board, or in private on the teacher's computer, and unless you gave the test in anonymous mode, the teacher also has access to an individual record of each and every student's answer in the Teacher Tools section of Notebook.

Planned Assessments

Notebook Teacher's can also use this technology to implement more formal and planned assessments. If you reach the end of a unit of learning, and wish to assess how well the students have retained the skills you taught, then the SMART student response system can be used to accomplish this goal.

Again, this can be done in a number of ways. Assessments can be created by the teacher using the SMART Notebook software and the questions can be displayed on a SMART board or LCD projector. Alternatively, you can give the students a printed copy of the questions and let them work at their own pace. You can even give a test from a student textbook. All you need do is input the answers into a SMART response quiz, start the assessment, and let students answer the questions on their handheld response units.

Of course, one of the best features for teachers is that the answers collected are automatically graded, and stored on the teacher's computer. They can be accessed and analyzed by clicking 'Response' and then 'Teacher Tools'.

SMART Exchange

The SMART Exchange website is an online community where teachers share classroom resources that they have made for their classroom. Teachers can search here for ready made instructional materials for SMART boards or for the SMART Response System. Simply search for the topic you are working on, and a wide variety of resources will be presented to you. You can filter the results to show only SMART Response question sets, and download the ones you want free of charge.


The one thing that might surprise you about using the SMART student response system is how quickly it becomes an integral part of your classroom assessment. It is quick, easy, and fun to use. More importantly, it also has the potential to greatly improve the assessment practices performed in your classroom, and give you a better picture of how well your students are really doing.