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What Is an Assessment Tool? Types, Benefits, Best Practices

what is assessment tool

Until a few years ago, teachers, trainers, and recruiters relied on age-old paper-based tests for their assessment needs. This assessment method required them to navigate through a series of tasks, including

Coming up with the right questions
Printing the test papers
Setting up an assessment center
Invigilating the assessment
Manually grading the responses

Phew!
Then we ushered to the era of online assessment tools that changed the scenario completely, and for good!

Online assessment tools streamlined and automated several laborious assessment tasks, including grading, feedback, reporting, and more. Plus, they allowed people to conduct assessments remotely.

Today when the e-learning market is valued at a whopping $200 billion, online assessment platforms have become a mainstay in education, training, and hiring.

So, what are online assessment tools, and how can you and your organization use them to your advantage?
This blog post will answer these and other related questions.

Let’s jump right in.

What Are Online Assessment Tools?

An online assessment tool or quiz maker is a cloud or web-based platform that lets you create and administer quizzes, tests, and exams online for formative, summative, and other types of assessments.

Online assessment tools are convenient for both test creators and test takers, as they allow for streamlined and scalable assessments. Online tools are more preferable than other types of assessment tools.

You can create a scored assessment to test knowledge, skills, and cognitive abilities or a personality assessment to evaluate personality traits.

The best assessment software tools let you do several things that are not possible with paper-based tests, such as:

  • Assess people remotely via computers or handheld devices
  • Automate grading and feedback
  • Generate assessment reports and statistics automatically
  • Ask questions in interactive ways
  • Ask questions based on images, videos, and audio clips

In the following sections, let’s take a detailed look at the benefits of online assessment tools in teaching and business.

Benefits of Online Assessment Tools for Teachers

Online assessment tools are excellent for creating all kinds of educational assessments, including short quizzes, unit or chapter tests, and midterm and final exams. They provide the following benefits for teachers:

Watch: How Teachers Can Leverage Online Assessments

1. Hassle-Free Grading & Feedback

Online assessment tools can streamline the grading and feedback process, benefiting teachers and students. Teachers can avoid the tedious and time-consuming task of manually grading each answer and explaining the correct answers.
Instead, they can devote more time and energy to facilitating learning interventions and engaging students in group discussions. On the other hand, students can benefit from receiving immediate feedback and learning from their errors while the assessment is still fresh in their minds.

How to Automate Quiz Scoring & Grading

2. Anytime, Anywhere Assessment

Online assessment tools provide teachers with a flexible distribution channel, meaning they can conduct assessments no matter where they or their students are.

The best assessment software also provides several anti-cheating functionalities, which remove the need for invigilation, allowing students to take tests and quizzes from the comfort of their homes.

Watch: How FLIP Used Online Quizzes for Effective Remote Learning

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3. Keep a Tab on Students’ Progress

Online assessment software enables teachers to monitor students’ performance over time. Teachers can easily access and compare old and recent data by storing the tests and their results on a cloud-based system. Access to assessment data makes identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses easier.

Watch: How to Review Quiz Reports & Statistics

4. Increase Student Engagement

Online assessments are not only effective for learning but also for engaging your students. You can design quizzes with various elements that capture their attention, such as images, videos, interactive question types, instant feedback, and customized results pages.

You can also create fun trivia quizzes that test their knowledge and spark their curiosity.

When conducted as a group activity, online quizzes can also help create a sense of community and collaboration among the students, as they can share their results and learn from each other.

5. Create Tests as a Learning Activity

One of the most powerful ways to learn new material is by teaching it or preparing to teach it to others. Using an online assessment creator, you can have your students create their own tests and distribute them to other students in your class or learning program.

By providing feedback for wrong answers, your students can solidify their learning and identify gaps in their understanding.

Read More: How to Use Online Quiz Maker for Teachers

Benefits of Online Assessment Tools for Businesses

Small or large businesses need to conduct assessments efficiently to ensure their staff is not occupied with menial tasks. Online assessment tools help them achieve this and more. Let’s look at some areas where assessment software is helpful for businesses:

1. Analyze Training Needs Easily

An online assessment can be a highly effective tool for conducting a training needs or skill gap analysis in your organization. It allows you to evaluate your employees whenever there is a significant organizational change, so you can provide focused training and get the desired return on investment from your employee training program.

Related Read: How to Conduct a Training Needs Assessment in Your Organization

2. Deliver Engaging & Effective Training

Online assessments can go a long way toward improving the quality and outcomes of your training courses, whether for new employee orientation, employee development, or compliance awareness.

You can use assessments during the course to reinforce knowledge of key concepts and at the end of the course to measure understanding and recall and assess the overall effectiveness of your training program.

You can also use the data from your end-of-course assessments to fine-tune your training content and methods.

Watch: Precision Sport Science Uses Online Assessment Tools for Better Employee Onboarding

3. Hire Faster & Better

Online assessment tools can transform your recruitment process by helping you find the best talent for your teams quickly and efficiently. These tools can provide objective data on candidates’ skills, personalities, cognitive abilities, and work ethics, speeding up decision-making and reducing hiring costs and time.

Some assessment tools, such as ProProfs Quiz Maker, provide a library of professionally designed and customizable pre-employment assessments. Such premade assessments can further simplify your recruitment process.

View Ready-to-Use Pre-Employment Assessments

Related Read: How to Use Online Assessments to Change Your Recruitment Game

4. Identify & Groom Future Leaders

Whether for talent assessment or skill training, online assessment tools can facilitate objective and data-driven decisions for succession planning and leadership development. In other words, you can create online assessments to identify employees with leadership potential, evaluate their leadership training needs, and groom them for management roles.

View Leadership & Management Skills Assessments

Related Read: Employee Training Assessment Guide: Train Smarter to Boost ROI

How to Create an Online Assessment Test

Here’s a peek at the process for creating an assessment test using an online assessment tool:

Step 1: Choose an assessment type – scored or personality.
Step 2: Create your questions or import ready-to-use questions from a question bank.
Step 3: Configure scoring to automate results.
Step 4: Configure security and anti-cheating settings.
Step 5: Customize the theme and result pages.

Once you’ve created your assessment, you can share it with your assessment takers via a link, email, or virtual classroom.

Watch: How to Create an Online Assessment.

Best Practices to Make the Most of Online Assessment Tools

Online assessment tools can help you meet your assessment needs more effectively if you follow some best practices when creating assessments with them. Here they are:

1. Use Assessments Before, During & After Instruction

Assessment is not a one-time event but a continuous process that supports learning throughout the instruction cycle. Online assessment software can help you design and deliver assessments at different stages of instruction, such as pre-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment.

  • Pre-assessment: to determine the learners’ prior knowledge and skills before instruction
  • Formative assessment: to monitor the learners’ progress and provide feedback during instruction
  • Summative assessment: to evaluate the learning outcomes and the learning program’s effectiveness after instruction

2. Assess Multiple Levels of Learning

The first level of learning is subject knowledge, but an honest assessment goes beyond that.

Just because a learner can give the correct answer doesn’t mean they fully understand it or can apply it in real life.

Good assessment measures learning beyond surface knowledge. A more in-depth assessment can be accomplished by asking questions in different formats, using examples or scenarios in questions, or by asking learners to explain concepts using their own language with essay or video response questions.

3. Boost Learning With Instant Feedback

Assessment is a way to measure and improve learning and to inspire and stimulate learners’ curiosity. To do this, you need to ask questions that challenge and test students’ knowledge and understanding and spark their interest.

One of the benefits of online assessment tools is that they can give instant feedback on students’ answers, along with explanations. This can help students learn from their mistakes and motivate them to improve.

Moreover, you can use online assessment tools to link feedback to various online resources, such as videos, articles, courses, knowledge bases, and more, that can enrich the learning experience.

4. Use Various Question Types

Multiple-choice and essay questions are sufficient for a good online assessment. However, using various kinds of questions can make your assessment more engaging while allowing learners to show their knowledge in different ways.

For example, you can ask some open-ended questions as video-response questions to offer learners a more interactive experience while evaluating their communication skills. Video-response questions are also handy for conducting remote hiring interviews.

Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Question

5. Create Media-Rich Assessments

You can enhance your assessments and ask more effective questions using media. For example, you can:

  • Make your question statements and answer options more attractive with images
  • Use video, image, or audio clips as the basis for your questions
  • Create answer options that only consist of images
  • Insert images in the feedback

Watch: How to Create a Video Quiz

6. Create a Question Bank

You can use an online assessment tool to build a large collection of questions (a question bank) and randomly choose a subset of them for the assessment. This ensures that each assessment taker gets a different set of questions and prevents any potential cheating among them. Question banks are also helpful for conducting several assessments on the same topic.

Related Read: How to Create & Leverage Question Banks

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Assessment Tool

There are many online assessment tools for teachers and businesses available today. But, before you do that, consider the following factors to select the best one.

1. Ease of Use

The interface and functionalities of a good assessment tool should be simple, user-friendly, and intuitive. This enables anyone to create assessments with ease using the tool.

2. Diverse Questions Formats

The assessment tool you pick should provide various ways to ask questions to keep participants engaged. Look for a tool that offers different question formats, such as multiple choice, open-ended, hotspot, drag-and-drop, etc.

This variety ensures that participants remain interested and motivated throughout the assessment, leading to more accurate and reliable results.

Watch: 15+ Question Types for Online Learning & Assessment

2. Customizable Templates for a Quick Start

Choosing an assessment tool that offers customizable, pre-built templates and questions can save time and effort in creating assessments from scratch. Look for a tool that provides a library of templates and question banks, allowing you to quickly select and customize the content to fit your needs.

Explore These Templates

3. Reporting & Analytics

An effective assessment tool should enable you to quickly and thoroughly analyze and compare assessment performance. Look for automated reporting and data visualization features to get actionable insights into individual and group performance and make data-driven decisions.

You should also be able to compare a learner’s performance over time to assess learning progress.

Watch: How to Review Reports & Statistics for Online Assessments

4. Security & Anti-Cheating Measures

Whether you’re conducting assessments for recruitment, education, or training, ensuring the security and integrity of the assessments is crucial. So, make sure that the assessment tool you choose incorporates robust security measures to prevent cheating and maintain the authenticity of results.

Features like secure login systems, randomized question orders, or remote proctoring options can help minimize the risk of cheating and maintain the credibility of the assessment process.

Watch: How to Configure Security & Other Settings

5. Automated Certification

If you need to certify the people who ace your assessments, you should go for a tool that offers automated certification. The tool should also let you set passing scores and create custom certificates featuring your logo and signature.

6. Customization Capabilities

A good assessment tool should allow for customizations per the user’s requirements. Check if the assessment tool you’re considering offers the following customization options:

  • Adding custom themes to your quiz
  • Adding your brand logo to the interface
  • Creating custom results pages based on the score achieved
  • Customizing the fonts and button text
  • Creating assessments in multiple languages
  • Creating custom certificates

Watch: How to Add a Custom Theme to Your Assessment

7. Instant & Personalized Feedback

Providing feedback is essential for assessment takers to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Check if the assessment tool you’ve shortlisted lets you give general feedback to the entire group and personalized feedback tailored to individual learners.

Transform Learning & Assessment With Online Assessments

Online assessment tools enable businesses and teachers to easily create, distribute, and report on various types of assessments, such as knowledge, skill, or personality tests. They are a useful tool for enhancing education, recruitment, and training outcomes.

Now that you know all about online assessment tools, it’s time to pick one and start creating your assessments. If you’re looking for a simple yet power-packed tool, ProProfs Quiz Maker is the way to go.

ProProfs Quiz Maker lets you create engaging quizzes, tests, and exams in minutes and provides detailed AI reports and analytics to measure performance and progress. ProProfs Quiz Maker also offers robust security, 15+ question types, and a massive library of over a million ready-to-use questions.

FREE. All Features. FOREVER!

Try our Forever FREE account with all premium features!

About the author

Angela White is a skilled Product Analyst with a focus on educational technology and online training. At ProProfs Quiz Maker, she uses her passion for ed-tech to create helpful articles that improve learning experiences. Angela's in-depth understanding of the dynamics of online examinations and certifications, combined with her commitment to creating engaging learning environments, positions her as a leading figure in shaping the future of online education.