The EdTech Coach Podcast

Sunday, April 15, 2018

5 Ways To Measure Engagement Without Breaking Your Lesson Flow

The book "Bold School" (Keischnick, 2017, p. 95),  states that "Trying to measure engagement and comprehension without breaking the flow or falling behind schedule is a great challenge for direct instruction."

This is where technology can come to the aid of a teacher trying to infuse checking for understanding throughout the lesson without pauses or time-consuming transitions.  Chromebooks and iPads have created numerous opportunities for teachers to measure engagement during instruction.  The trick is how to measure engagement without breaking the flow you've created in your instruction.  How can technology help in keeping the lesson flowing, without interruption or dead spots?

The other consideration is to make sure every student has a voice.  If you simply ask students if they get it, some may genuinely understand, while others, not wanting to risk embarrassment or hold up the class, shake their head in the affirmative.

These apps can help you reach each student while incorporating checking for understanding in the lesson without breaking the flow of your lesson.

1. Nearpod: Use Nearpod for all phases of your lesson, from the introduction all the way to your formative assessment.  All the while checking for understanding in between.

2. Pear Deck: Pear Deck will not only help you present your lesson and incorporate checking for understanding with an anonymous thumbs up or thumbs down option, but you can also ask a question on the fly for students to answer in the lesson, without having to exit your Pear Deck lesson.

3. Google Slides Q & A: If you're presenting a Google Slides presentation, make it a Google Slides Q & A presentation.  Students can have their phones at the ready to ask a question without interrupting the class.  Q & A is great for those students who oftentimes are too shy to ask a question.

4. Kahoot: At the beginning of class, prior to the lesson, ask students to prepare for a Kahoot by having them go to  Then, you can insert Kahoots at various points of your lesson.  Prepare a few checking for understanding questions throughout your lesson.  Then, when the time is right, throw in a Kahoot.

5. Socrative: Use the Quick Question feature in Socrative to ask a multiple choice, T/F, or short answer question.  Like Kahoot, ask your students to prepare to use Socrative.  You can either have questions prepared (in which case, you can make a rocketship race out of it) or ask them on the fly.

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