Educational technology has been coming on the scene in leaps and bounds over the past few years. More courses and programs are moving online, more students are using computers and mobile devices for their research and coursework, and more teachers are using online tools to both be more efficient and improve their teaching.
Among the many tools now available for instructors and trainers, those that assist with the creation and management of course resources are some of the most valuable. One of the top technologies in this category is test maker software. Below, we examine what test management software is and how you can use it in your classroom.
What is test management software?
Test management software is an application that makes it easy to create, distribute, and manage quizzes and tests online. The best software packages are full service, which means that they provide everything from authoring tools, to grading tools, to mobile support. Test management software is available online as a cloud-based application, so you don’t have to download anything to use it—just create an account, sign in, and get started.
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Here are some of the top features of online test management software:
- Support for different question types (i.e., multiple choice, matching, true or false, essay, etc.)
- Support for multimedia (video, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Automated scoring / grading
- Automated feedback
- Learner performance tracking
- Easy-to-understand analytics
- Custom certificates of completion
- Easy online distribution—tests can be hosted on the vendor site or embedded on your site
- Social media integration
- Privacy controls and enhanced security settings
- Easy branding
As you can see, test management software provides one centralized tool you can use to streamline the entire process of administering assessments, from creating quizzes and tests, to distributing them to learners, to grading them and providing feedback, and much more.
How can you use test management software?
Though it is specialized for creating exams, test management software is actually a very versatile tool that can be used in any classroom. Here are four ways you can use test management software in yours:
- Creating all assessments and exams for an online course. Test management software is flexible, allowing you to integrate different online resources and create many different types of questions. Thus, whether you are making a short true-or-false quiz or a final exam complete with long answer and essay questions, you can use the software to do it all.
- Creating tests for use both on- and offline. Though the program itself is online, the tests you create can be printed and used offline as well (though not if they contain multimedia elements). The main advantages of using test management software even for offline tests are that you can save your questions in a question bank for reuse later, and you can easily shuffle the questions to create a different version of the tests for each student.
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- Saving time on grading and providing feedback. The automated grading and feedback fg atures are some of the top reasons test management software is so popular. You no longer need to grade the same math test 30 times—the program does it all for you. In addition, you can create customized feedback responses, which means that even though you are using an automated system, you are still providing appropriate feedback for each student based on his or her answers.
- Tracking question difficulty and learner performance. Many teachers use a spreadsheet program to track grades and other statistics, but this is time consuming and data entry always brings with it the possibility of making a mistake. Test management software not only does all of the data entry for you, but it can also generate analytics and reports in a way that is much more friendly than trying to the get the same information out of Excel.
Overall, test management software does exactly what it the name says—it helps you manage all aspects of assessment so that you can spend more of your time engaging meaningfully with your students.
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