Online classes and remote and hybrid learning options become the new normal for many K12 educators. As a result, teachers have adjusted various aspects of their schedule, techniques, and tools to ensure their students stay engaged and successful in and out of the classroom. As schools look for online courses and testing systems that offer great features and a user-friendly interface for test-takers, they should also consider how well these platforms service other users, such as teachers and administrative staff.
Digital assessment systems guide students through each exam, track their progress in real-time and provide access to any assistive tools they may need to complete their work. On the flip side, these tools should also offer helpful features for educators, such as grading, record-keeping, and feedback tools that reduce teacher’s workloads by cutting out the tedious administrative work that consumes a good portion of their time in traditional classroom settings.
Here are four features you should look for when choosing a digital assessment tool that will support educators and students alike. These features increase productivity and allow teachers to take a break from administrative work and spend more time teaching and engaging with students instead.
#1 Adaptive Tests
Educators know that each student learns and tests differently. However, with a national average of 16 students for every teacher in each class, creating a personalized test for each student simply isn’t possible. Enter: adaptive testing tools.
A.I.-powered adaptive tests empower teachers and students alike. Computer-adaptive testing (CAT) saves teachers hours they previously spent writing up multiple versions of an exam, but it also helps drive better learning outcomes for students.
Adaptive testing allows educators to test students’ actual knowledge of the test material instead of their memorization skills. This ‘tailored testing’ technology measures a student’s comprehension of course material by presenting questions based on their previous answers, literally adapting itself to their critical thinking and learning styles along the way.
#2 Proctoring and Monitoring
Monitoring students on test day has always posed a unique set of challenges. Educators need to be in multiple places at once, watching each corner of the classroom for students whispering to one another or peeking into a notebook. When students are testing from home, the risk of cheating only increases as teachers adjust to new tools and students test the boundaries of their new at-home classroom.
Automated proctoring and monitoring features help teachers keep online test environments secure without staffing additional proctors to monitor students’ computer screens and webcams every test day. Instead, teachers rely on automated proctors and security tools that monitor student computer activity to prevent cheating and limit distractions during exams.
#3 Automatic Graders
One of the most time-consuming parts of a teacher’s job is grading. Whether it’s a pop quiz, essay, or mid-term, teachers often spend hours after the school day ends hand-grading each student’s assessment, marking through incorrect answers, leaving feedback, and calculating grades for the entire class.
Digital assessments have given educators a well-deserved break from manual grading. Automatic graders process completed exams with pre-set scoring tools that process objective questions and calculate grades.
If an exam includes subjective questions, such as free responses, short answers, or equations where students need to show their work, teachers can jump back into the tests when they have the time, grade outstanding questions, and record feedback in the assessment tool. Then, final grades are calculated and sent out to students at the click of a button.
#4 Data Collection Software
Tracking student- and class-level progress goes hand-in-hand with grading. As students progress through the course, teachers need a way to track each student’s level of attainment and class performance as a whole.
Without assessment tools, teachers have to keep a running record of exam results throughout the semester or school year. Not only is this a cumbersome manual process, but it’s also risky in that a miswritten grade, missing spreadsheet column, or lost notebook can lead to a misleading report.
Digital assessment tools practically eliminate this effort for educators while improving the detail, quality, and frequency of each report through robust data management. These intuitive reporting tools use data to drive results and monitor learning outcomes by collecting student and assessment data in a unified space. Teachers can then promote interoperability in their digital assessment tools by filtering and exporting data into their preferred data visualization tool for robust, customized reporting and analysis.
When choosing an online assessment tool for your school, look for an all-in-one solution that’s mutually beneficial for your students, educators, and administrative staff.
TAO Testing provides flexible, user-friendly online learning solutions that empower educators to support their students effectively. We can integrate with your existing tools or create a new, standalone solution to streamline operations and deliver comprehensive scoring and reporting through a single software dashboard.