Discover Web-based tools for testing students online, for printing tests that you format online, and for preparing students to take standardized print and online tests.
For testing on facts and figures, online quiz sites are a great alternative to pen and paper tests. Whether you use them for review, remediation, or assessment, these tools are free and easy-to-use. Check them out yourself!
One of the most popular online quizzing sites, Discovery School's Quiz Center is a great starting point for any teacher. You'll need to register to obtain a (free!) custom classroom account, then you can create quizzes that students can take online. You have the option of restricting quizzes (so kids can't see the quiz the night before the test!). Students' answers and Quiz Center's grades are sent via e-mail and you can choose to have students receive a corrected version of the test or simply their grade. A caution: Discovery School gets a lot of traffic, so bear in mind that this site can be slow to upload during school hours.
QuizStar, a free tool from the High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium, is another great alternative for testing students online. Much like Quiz Center, Quiz Star allows you to create tests with many types of questions, assign or un-assign quizzes, set up classes, and register students. Instead of e-mailing answers to students, however, QuizStar posts scores online. Scores are accessible only by the teacher, however, you can choose to have students view their work and corrections. Additional options allow you to view and print reports on individual students showing the time it took for them to complete the test and how many times they attempted it.
If you're not ready to have students take tests on the computer, but are looking for a way to make your own tests look a little nicer, EasyTestMaker can help. This site does the formatting for you, making it a snap to create elegant and easy-to-read tests that you can then print and copy for your class. Creating an account is free, and the tutorial is easy. You can print your answer key as well. For a twist, why not let students create the tests? Assign a student or group a chapter in the textbook and have each create a short quiz on their assigned reading. The entire class or others in their group then can take the test! (Note: Mac users might find the tutorial does not work in Safari or Firefox).
This might be your only Web site during standardized test prep time! Brainchild provides assessment assistance to districts and schools and offers FREE sample tests in both math and reading for all 50 states. Click your state, choose a grade and subject, and an online version of the test appears. Students then can read a problem, question, or passage, and click the appropriate answer. Once finished with that section, students receive their scores along with their time. Each question missed is highlighted; an explanation of the correct answer also is provided. Use this in your classroom computer center for whole-class practice or in a one-to-one setting. Not to be missed!
Okay, you've looked through the above and nothing quite fits your needs. Then it might be time to check out Hot Potatoes, from Half Baked Software. As the Web site notes, this software is "free of charge for publicly funded, non-profit, educational users who make their pages available on the Web," so for many K-12 educators, there is no fee. With six separate applications, you can create multiple choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering, and gap-fill exercises for Web-based assessment. The software is currently available for Linux and Windows XP users. For those using Macs, there is a pre-OS X version and a beta version for OS X.
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Article by Lorrie Jackson
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