Tuesday, 1 July 2008

On-line quiz tools

Here is an excellent selection of new ebtools I'll be adding to the site soon, hopefully in time for the E-fair on Friday!

ClassMarker is an online quiz-making tool that's geared to both educational and business traning, with both free and paid versions. Create your quizzes, and your learners or business clients take them online. There are a few nice features that I wouldn't have expected to find in a free lightweight tool like this one -- the ability to randomize test questions, for example, and to set a time limit for taking the quiz. The ReBranded ClassMarker option that lets you add your organization's logo to your quiz page and match its colors to those of your website.

The free version of ClassMarker includes most of the basic features, while a paid version ($24.95 for educators, $49.95 business) gives the ability to add feedback to correct and incorrect answers, an option to receive the results by email, and access to a range of more detailed reports as well as enhanced product support.

Create A Quiz is a completely free web-based tool from ProProfs that allows you to create your own online quizzes and tests, or choose from a library of existing quizzes by browsing topic categories and tags. You can share any quiz by sharing the link to its webpage, or customize your quiz with your choice of logo, text and colors, and embed it on your own website with a copy-and-paste code snippet. Each quiz includes a number of automatic extras such as printable and interactive versions, discussions, and suggestions for related quizzes. At the end of each quiz, students receive their marks with question-by-question feedback that shows areas of wekaness.

Create A Quiz is a fairly feature-packed free tool, but the quiz results seem to be public, not privately reported to the administrator, and I wasn't able to find a way to keep results private. Unless there's something I've missed, it is probably best to save this tool for study groups or self-testing rather than for more sensitive assessments.

Quia claims to offer "the Web's most extensive collection of educational tools and templates" -- and that may very well be the case. You can create 16 types of educational games and activities, quizzes with eight different types of questions, surveys, and other online learning tools that provide immediate quanitfiable feedback to the student or, for questions where a variety of responses are acceptable, can give a "potential" mark pending the teacher's review. The existing large library of activities and quizzes is available for use free of charge, as are student accounts. To create your own acivities and quizzes, however, you'll need to subscribe.

Quia's educational package starts at $49 per year for an individual instructor, with group discounts available. That'll exclude it from the webtools site but you can sign up for a 30-day free trial to decide if Quia is for you.

QuizCenter from DiscoveryEducation is a free online quiz maker with plenty of features, but there's no way to test it without diving in. To get started, you'll need to register with the My Discovery site and set up a Custom Classroom. Registration, however, enable a variety of privacy settings so quiz pages can be password protected for access only by individuals or user-defined groups within the online classroom. "After a student fills out the quiz form and submits her answers, Quiz Center checks the answers against your answer key, determines which answers are correct, and tallies the total score. Within seconds it produces a page that shows the results or, if you prefer, e-mails the results to you."

This is a very good free service, no question. My largest quibble is that I found the site navigation less than intuitive -- stray off the QuizCenter path and it's not always easy to find your way back there from the pages that promote DiscoveryEducation's other (commercial) products. To save time, you might want to bookmark.

QuizStar from 4teachers.org lets you create unlimited quizzes in multiple formats and different languages, and to include multimedia files as well as images. Set start and end times, privacy levels, and whether you want to show the correct answers when students review the quiz after taking it. Quizzes are graded automatically, and the results can be reported by class, student, question, etc. You can choose to save the reports online, print them, or download as an Excel file. For ease of use, flexibility, and privacy, educators could do worse than give this tool a test drive, though it might be less useful to other organizations with a more public agenda.

QuizStar offers a 60-day free trial, but the service itself requires a subscription so it is only really eligible for inclusion if you can fir what you want to do in those couple of months! Still, worth a try!

This information has been provided by Wild Apricot, a non-profit organsational web site tool that is featured on the webtools site.

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