• Allison Felten

4 Fabulous Testing Tools

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

The creations and implementation of summative assessments used to be a huge undertaking for teachers. Not only did you have to make sure the assessment aligned with the teaching standards, but then you would have to give the test and grade each one manually (goodbye weekend). The use of technology has increased the ease of giving tests as well as the quality of data that can be collected from the test.

This article will go over four very different assessment tools and rate them on three factors: ease of creation, fun for students, and quality of data collected. Try them out and see which one works best for you.

1. Google Forms

Anybody with a Google account can make a Google Form. Google Forms are a versatile data collecting forms. Creating a form from scratch is a great way to make the perfect assessment but the program offers templates for quiz and assessment creation.

Once on the Google Form, the teacher has the option to add a great variety of question types. These include short answer, essay, multiple-choice, multiple answers, dropdown, file upload, linear scale, multiple choice grid, and check box grid. The variety of question types is unmatched by any of the other assessment tools on this list.

Some useful options in Google Forms include making certain questions required before a student can submit and adding sections so the questions are chunked. Other non-question media can be included in the assessment such as titles, images, and videos.

The downfall of Google Forms is that it does not the most intuitive creator experience. In order to set correct answers and to assign point values to each question, the teacher has to click on each specific question and click the “Answer Key” button on the bottom left. This takes a lot of time. Also, if the teacher doesn't have a specific question to get a student’s name it can be difficult to know whose work they are looking at so a good rule of thumb is to make the very first question a required short answer where they have to put their first and last name.

To send Google Forms to students the teacher will send out a link. There are options to copy the link and post it somewhere or to send out the link through email. The data collected with Google Forms is good, albeit a little raw. Once the teacher gets responses they can click on the “Responses” tab on the top where data can be sorted into three sections.

The first section gives a summary which shows a whole class overview. The second section looks at each individual question. If the teacher set up each question to align with a certain teaching standard this can be a very informative report. The third section gives each individual student's answers throughout the whole test. This can be good for collecting data on individual students and creating plans to address gaps in their learning.

Ease of Creation 3/5

Fun for Students 3/5

Quality of Data 5/5

2. Socrative

Socrative is a website for building quizzes and tests for students. The creation of an original assessment is easy but teachers can import from an existing test or Excel sheet. The teacher can even align the assessment to specific standards which is a great way to organize the assessments for future use.

Once the teacher titles the quiz they are ready to add questions. Socrative offers three kinds of questions which include multiple-choice, true or false, and short answer questions. The quiz creator is intuitive and allows teachers to add the question, add the answer options, select the correct answer, add a picture, and add an explanation for the answer all in one place.

When it’s time to launch the quiz the teacher has some options to shape the test-taking experience. The teacher can set the test to give instant feedback where after each question the student will immediately know if they got the question right or wrong. Teachers can set the test to open navigation where students can skip around from one question to another. The third option is a teacher-paced test where everybody works through the assessment together. This could be a really good option for SPED students, ELL students, or small groups.

In order for students will access the quiz, they will have to go to the Socrative student login page and putting the classroom code. This code can be changed by the teacher anytime a test is not active. While students are working the teacher has access to real-time reports on their device. When the test is done the teacher can export the data through email and/or a spreadsheet.

There is a paid version of Socrative ($59.99/year). The paid version gives more features such as having up to 20 rooms (which is great for giving more than one level of assessment within a single class), adding math equations or scientific notations to questions, import rosters, and much more.

Ease of Creation (Free Version) 5/5

Fun for Students (Free Version) 3/5

Quality of Data (Free Version) 3/5

3. Formative

Despite its name, Formative is a great place to create summative assessments. Formative is a website that allows teachers to make assessments for their students. The assessments work well for individual, partner/small group, or teacher-led instruction.

After creating an account the teacher will need to make a class group. Create a new class can be done manually or by syncing Google Classroom or a Clever Roster. Having students get into Formative can be a bit of a pain but once they are in all they have to do from that point on is login and they are ready to go.

Formative is similar to GoogleForms in the way that assessments are created. The free version includes add content by embedding, add an image, add a text block, add a Youtube video, add a whiteboard for students to write or draw. The question types include multiple-choice, multiple-selection, true or false, show your work, short answer, and essay questions. The free version offers a decent variety of tools that can help students show what they know on a deeper level but the paid version ($15/month) will offer even more comprehensive tools. To learn more check out the post Formative- Easy formative assessments for students.

One of the strongest features of Formative is the teacher's access to real-time responses. Every answer a student puts is available to the teacher within seconds. This is a great way to see which students may be rushing through or struggling. The answer dashboard can also be utilized as a whole-class review tool. By clicking the “hide name” button the answer dashboard can be displayed anonymously and the class can go through and see the thought processes of their peers.

Reports are pretty easy to interpret and understand. Teachers can easily check on overall accuracy for a class, accuracy for a single question, or accuracy for each individual student. It is very easy to glance at Formative results and gather meaningful visual data.

Ease of Creation (Free Version) 3/5

Fun for Students (Free Version) 3/5

Quality of Data (Free Version) 5/5

4. Quizizz

Quizizz is a fun testing tool that engages students in a game-like assessment. Once an account is created the teacher can search through the thousands of Quizizz already created or make their own quiz by clicking the “+ Create”. Teachers have the option to create a quiz/assessment or a lesson.

When the teacher clicks create they start by naming the quiz and categorizing it into a subject. From there the teacher is taken to the quiz creator. Using this creator is easy. The teacher will start by selecting from the question type which includes multiple-choice, checkbox, fill-in-the-blank, poll questions, open-ended questions, and slides. When creating the question the teacher also has an option to put an image for the question and images for the answers. This can be a great option for pre-readers, SPED, or ELL students.

There is a paid plan called the super version which costs $5/month but is billed annually ($60 for a year). The super version includes interactive videos, audio clips, adds explanations to answers, gets rid of ads, changes the game theme, and more.

Students can access the quiz by logging in with their Google account or a code. The teacher can set up a team game, classic game, or test. Some helpful options include changing the number of attempts, using a name generator, and showing the correct answer after each question or after the entire test.

The features that set Quizizz apart from the competition includes Power-Ups where students get bonus points and other fun abilities, Redemption Questions which allow participants to reattempt a few incorrect questions, and the option to show funny memes after each question. Students go crazy for these features and it can make the test-taking experience enjoyable for students with test anxiety.

The reports collected from the quiz are comprehensive and easy to understand. The whole class stats are available as well as the accuracy breakdown for each student, question by question breakdown, and if the teacher set standards for each question they can see how well the class did for each specific target.

Ease of Creation (Free Version) 4/5

Fun for Students (Free Version) 5/5

Quality of Data (Free Version) 5/5