At a time when teachers are increasingly asked to take on new duties because schools can’t afford to hire new staff, online testing has truly proven to be a godsend. Online assessments reduce expenses because they are easier to create, distribute and score than paper tests. Students love online assessments because they increase engagement and familiarity with technology. Online assessments can even benefit parents who may have difficulty finding the time to give feedback by phone or mail.
Most of all, though, online assessments enhance the educational experience for students. When school feels less like work and more like play, students try harder in exams and pay greater attention during class. With online assessments, you can even create tools to give your students an edge in college admissions tests. Let’s explore some of the ways in which online assessments can enhance your school.
Gamify the Educational Experience
The video game has been a defining feature in our cultural evolution for more than three decades. Why do people actually play games, though? Over the past few years, designers have examined the features of games that keep people coming back. Scoring systems, achievement badges and unlockable content are just a few of the features that keep video game fans engaged — and the design theory that attempts to add these features to other aspects of life is called “gamification.”
Do you want to gamify the educational process in the easiest way possible? Use online assessments and let your creativity run wild. Create an interactive story with chapters that only unlock when students answer questions correctly. Create tests that allow students to earn points toward a “Day Off” achievement, and allow anyone with the achievement to take a day off from homework. Only you can decide what will work for your classroom, but survey results suggest that up to 79 percent of students would be more productive if going to school felt more like playing a game.
Place Students With the Right Teachers
Particularly in early elementary school, it is common to assign students to “homeroom” classes somewhat randomly and separate students by ability level only for specific subjects such as math. Homeroom teachers teach basic subjects such as handwriting and social studies during formative educational years. As students become older, classes become more segmented and the homeroom decreases in importance.
An online assessment is the easiest, least costly and most accurate way to assign students to classes by ability level. Did you know, though, that online assessments can also help when placing students with teachers who cover multiple subjects?
Using online assessments, you can have your teachers take personality tests to determine the types of students with whom they’ll be most effective. Have students take the same tests, and you’ll be able to assign them to compatible teachers. You may find that you have a teacher with a special talent for calming disruptive students. Another member of your staff might be especially willing to devote extra time to gifted students who finish basic material quickly and then lose interest. Assigning students with compatible teachers will give them the best possible chance to thrive.
Prepare Students for College Admissions Tests
The most important job of any high school is to prepare its students for the life ahead — and in most cases, that job includes getting students ready for college admissions tests. Popular tests such as the SAT and ACT change yearly, but educators know in advance which concepts students will need to master.
If your institution specializes in helping students gain acceptance to the world’s top universities, develop a customized system of online assessments to prepare students for admissions tests. For example, you could create a master list of questions similar to the ones that students will see in their admissions tests. Configure your online assessment platform to generate tests on demand using questions randomly selected from the master list. A randomized testing system will give students the opportunity to take tests similar to college admissions tests many times without ever seeing exactly the same test twice. When the big day arrives, your students will be ready.
Get Feedback from Students and Parents
Every school has the potential to improve. Students may experience difficulties with certain teachers or peers. Parents, meanwhile, may feel that certain school policies prevent their children from succeeding. Students can sometimes have difficulty voicing concerns, though, to teachers whose feelings they don’t want to hurt. Busy parents, meanwhile, may have difficulty finding the time to make a phone call or write a letter.
Get actionable feedback from students and parents with online assessments. You can allow students to respond to surveys anonymously, so their answers will be more honest. You’ll also enjoy an increased response rate from parents because online surveys take little time to complete. If you are dedicated to the pursuit of consistent improvement, there is no better way to obtain actionable feedback than with online assessments.
Above, we discussed the fact that an online assessment can generate random tests from a master list of questions so no two tests are exactly the same. Randomized tests aren’t just great for mastering certain concepts, though — they also help to prevent cheating because copying another student’s answers would serve no purpose.
Online assessments very effective in preventing other forms of cheating as well. Does your class have an essay exam coming up? Create an online assessment that doesn’t accept pasted text and checks automatically for plagiarism. Do you allow students to complete tests at home? Use remote proctoring to prevent students from using phones and other unapproved devices.
Get Started With Online Assessments Now
Online assessments can improve every aspect of the educational experience. Use online assessments to get your students ready for college admissions tests, and watch your school’s enrollment increase as parents take notice of the excellent universities your graduates go on to attend. Use online assessments to prevent the possibility of cheating on tests, or to improve school policies by asking parents and students for feedback.
Testofy is the ideal platform for every type of online assessment. Our simple tools make it possible to quickly develop a test with any type of field including multiple choice, true/false or free text entry — or to generate a random test with a set number of questions from a master list. With our pay-as-you-go system, you’ll only pay when an assessment is submitted — or pay a flat monthly fee. Start your free trial period now to see how easy and fun the Testofy platform is to use.