By Amanda Arrey, Technology Training Specialist
The demand placed on teachers right now is at an all-time high. While great things come from progress monitoring, formative assessment, and small group interventions, grading all those components and keeping track of data can be overwhelming. So many digital resources are available for teachers to use, but none are as quick and easy for students and teachers to use as Edulastic.
My need to have digital assessments for my class came with the introduction of the professional learning community (PLC) process to our district, and the administration of common formative assessments (CFAs) quickly became overwhelming. Since we were already using Google Classroom, I naturally chose Google Forms quiz as my first tool for digital assessments. Forms quizzes can be auto-graded, are easy to add items to, students can log in with Google, and the assignment easily attaches to Google Classroom.
While it worked okay at the time, once I found and started using Edulastic, my assessment ability changed and the benefits of using Edulastic became clear. It checks off all the boxes that make Forms easy to use, but with the added benefits of live proctoring, a huge database of premade quality test questions, editing during administration, and easy-to-read reports.
Benefit one: live proctoring
One of the biggest benefits of using Edulastic is live proctoring. Student answers come in as they type them, and correct and incorrect answers are shown to the teacher immediately. This is helpful in classroom and distance learning settings since it helps control the variables of digital testing. With a Google Forms quiz, when students are given the test, teachers cannot see their responses until the end when it is too late to intervene.
With Edulastic, however, I can see right away if there is an error on the test, a miscommunication of how to write the responses (for example, R for the remainder in a division problem instead of r), or a question that was put on the test by mistake. I love having the ability to see the results roll in, and correct them as needed during the assessment, rather than when the answers are already submitted.
Benefit two: adaptability
Another huge advantage to Edulastic is the ease of creating, editing, and re-grading a test. With a robust library of questions, you can build the test easily, as well as edit premade tests to fit your needs. Edulastic allows one to edit a test while the students are taking it or after the results are in. I have been in the middle of administering a test and, through live proctoring, have seen I included a question that wasn’t what I was hoping to assess. While students are taking the test, I can remove that question and it will live update with the changes. The ability to edit a Google Forms quiz after administration is available, but I prefer the ability to edit and regrade the test during administration and make changes in real-time if necessary.
Benefit three: reporting
My favorite Edulastic time saver is reporting. I can quickly see how my class did on an assessment with color-coded answers, the ability to easily sort results by student or question, and rescore answers with one click. The reporting in Edulastic provides the exact information I need to see to be able to use that formative data to drive my instruction right away. It doesn’t require me to scroll forever to see the results as in Google Forms quiz reporting — all the images are right at the top for me to quickly glance through and see how students did on each question. I can spot trends immediately by reviewing the red and green boxes on the live proctoring page and can tell what questions took the most time for students to complete. The time I save with visual results in Edulastic allows me the freedom to actually use that data right away and not have to spend hours analyzing it.
These are just some of the ways Edulastic was a game changer for me in administering both formative and summative assessments to my students. Some of the benefits of using a Google Forms quiz are also available through Edulastic, such as pushing the assignment through Google Classroom, the grade reporting feature in Classroom, and the sign-in with Google function. However, Edulastic goes beyond these basic features offered through a Google Forms quiz and provides teachers access to quality assessments with ease.
About the Author
Amanda is an educator from Southern California, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She taught in elementary schools for eight years and now works as a Technology Training Specialist to coach teachers in technology integration for their classrooms.