A turn-key assessment platform is ideal for organizations that need to quickly and effectively launch a digital testing program without the support of a dedicated IT team. In today’s digital age, students are more frequently leveraging online education. In response, districts and institutions are rapidly bringing their courses online to increase enrollment and provide learning opportunities to larger populations of students. With the advancement of computer-based testing techniques, moving their assessments online also puts these institutions in a unique position to better measure and understand student problem-solving.
Though transitioning from paper-and-pencil to digital assessment was previously a costly, difficult and time-consuming transformation, this is no longer the case. Thanks to turn-key technology systems, institutions no longer need to worry about technical configurations, integrations and complications. Users can run these solutions right away and launch an assessment program in a much shorter time frame than previously possible. Even assessments that are typically paper-based, can be disrupted by outside factors. In this case, a turn-key solution can quickly be leveraged to ensure that learning performance is still measured.
In this post, we discuss core components in a turn-key assessment platform, and how you can utilize this technology to save your testing and provide a solution to empower online education.
Features of a Turn-Key Assessment Platform
What makes a solution turn-key? The term is used to denote technology systems that are ready to use out-of-the-box. Turn-key assessment platforms require no technical development, enabling you to spend time where it matters – on your content and assessment creation. With this type of solution, you are able to access your platform simply by logging in through an online web browser. When you do this, your platform environment should already be configured and ready for you to begin building and managing your assessments. Additionally, if you want to extend your solution beyond the basic functionality, you should also be able to seamlessly plug third-party tools into your environment.
The hallmark of an effective turn-key assessment platform is flexibility. On the front end, your platform’s interface should be easy to use and allow you to add custom branding elements to your assessments. Behind the scenes, your solution should also be able to support a changing number of users in the most cost-effective way. A few platform features that provide you with this ease of use, flexibility and control include:
- Open Standards
- WYSIWYG Editors
- White-Label Branding
- Pre-set Item Banks
- Scalable Cloud Hosting
- Built-in Security
- Support Workflows
How a Turn-Key Assessment Solution Saves your Testing
Even if your institution or district typically leverages paper-based testing, circumstances may arise that require you to switch to a digital model. If you are doing this for the first time, a turn-key solution eliminates technical downtime, allowing for minimal disruption in teaching and learning.
Quickly Get Tests Up and Running
As mentioned above, a primary benefit of a turn-key assessment platform is the ability to get tests up and running, even with little advanced planning. Consider unexpected school closings. Today, we are experiencing a global health crisis that is forcing many institutions and school districts to temporarily shut their doors and potentially cancel their end-of-year testing.
However, canceling testing comes at a cost. In doing so, institutions risk losing student data for the entire year, a critical measurement for district, institution and student success rates. In order to put public health above all else and still save their testing, institutions and districts are now seeking turn-key online assessment solutions that will allow them to make a quick digital substitution.
Simplify Digital Assessment Creation
One way turn-key assessment solutions simplify item and assessment creation within your platform is by leveraging WYSIWYG editors. These editors cut out the need for specialized coding languages and enable you to create testing elements on the fly. They often leverage drag and drop functionality that allow you to visualize your items and assessments in context as you build them. Whatever you create in the editor will appear precisely as such in the assessment. This not only makes the process of assessment authoring much easier, but also helps you save time on edits by showing you exactly how your assessment will appear to end-users.
Pre-set item banks for different subjects also enable you to reduce the complexities of digital assessment by saving you time and resources on item creation. Item banks that support TEIs help you to better measure 21st-century skills by enabling the more diverse item types, like:
- Match (drag and drop)
- Custom (PCIs)
Stay on Track with Testing Requirements
The success of educational districts and institutions is measured based on yearly student performance. Proving student outcomes as mandated by law largely relies on data from high-stakes exams. Without a digital solution to keep tests running in the case of school closings, this data is lost. This year-long gap in student data prevents you from seeing a clear picture of the success of your district or institution period over period. This information is crucial not only for educational funding and future success modeling, but also provides essential qualifications for student progression.
With the technology we have available, it’s more critical than ever to leverage innovative learning solutions that remove physical barriers and reach students no matter where they are. A turn-key assessment solution makes it possible (and easy) to ensure testing continues in any case so that you don’t have to forgo valuable results that prove your district or institution’s success.