Assessment is a vital part of teaching, both in the brick-and-mortar classroom and in online settings. Creating an effective feedback loop requires accurate and consistent assessment. At the best of times, it can be time-consuming, and at the worst, it falls through the cracks.
With countless ways to assess student progress and understanding, how can you find the best free assessment tools for teachers? Here are our top 6 recommendations for free online assessment tools.
It’s no secret that class time often isn’t enough to cover the whole syllabus, answer all of your student questions, and assess their learning. Online assessment tools are an important way to “win back” some of that precious class time by automating grading and visual presentation of correct answers and popular mistakes.
Online assessment is excellent for summative assessment (think unit tests or end-of-term exams) and formative assessment (the endless feedback loop that helps your students keep learning). It’s also important to expose students to the different designs and layouts of online assessment tools since statewide testing trends are shifting towards online exams.
One of the most extensive and definitive standardized tests is the Texas STAAR. From the STAAR Test 2022 onwards, Texas will conduct testing online. And since many states look to Texas while creating their own standardized tests, you can expect other states to move online.
The STAAR online testing program already has official practice tests, and other groups are also releasing their versions of online STAAR practice materials.
Even before STAAR moved online, there were plenty of great practice tests on the internet. Now, students can practice the STAAR test online with materials with the same design and layout as the “real thing.”
When you’re choosing a STAAR practice test for your students, remember that they’re not only interacting with the questions and their recall: they’re also interacting with the new computer-based testing environment. Ensure that online STAAR practice materials help them get familiar with that digital space.
You should also make sure that the practice materials are appropriate to what you’ve already covered in class. For example, if you want to provide students with online practice for an end-of-course (EOC) STAAR test throughout the term, make sure that each practice only touches on the material you’ve already taught. This will require some creative tweaking of existing practice material, but it will be best for your students’ motivation and achievement.
To get your students prepared for online standardized testing, here are some great tools that allow you to create custom materials and/or make great use of existing practice tests.
Utilize the “Quiz” feature to provide immediate feedback. You can use Forms for any subject, and there are many different types of questions. With this one, you have to type out practice materials from scratch, so TeacherMade may be a better fit for your needs.
TeacherMade makes it possible to use existing documents and convert them to online assessments. It’s simple.
Enjoy fast and easy test prep with your students! No prep work, grading, or hassles!
Mentimeter is great for gauging the understanding of the whole class and targeting outliers during formative assessment. It’s also a valuable tool for tapping into the affective side of learning, including student motivation.
Pear Deck is a formative assessment tool that is a way to spruce up your existing slideshows and lectures. It’s an extension for Google Slides that incorporates questions and activities into presentation material so that formative assessment doesn’t have to slow down during a lecture.
This is the “fun one,” with bright colors and music. There are countless existing quizzes and games on Kahoot already, so you can probably find something to meet your needs without starting from scratch.
Edpuzzle is a tool that is perfect for assessment in a flipped-classroom setting or for video-based homework. You can assign a video (either your own or from the web) and offer questions and tips while the video is playing. The result is an interactive experience for the student and a clear understanding of students’ knowledge and mastery for the teacher.
Quizlet is a tool based on the flashcard design, with 1-to-1 words and definitions to help students memorize essential info. Plus, it has many different ways to drill the material, including in-class competitions and games. There are many existing sets, so you probably won’t have to start from scratch when building the vocab lists.
Take any assignment or PDF file and turn it into an online assessment for your students. If you have practice materials for a major standardized test, you can quickly turn it into a TeacherMade assignment for your students that you can even set up self-grading.