Mobile Technology and e-Assessment
Mobile Technology and e-Assessment
The technology research company Gartner reported that the sale of PCs was down yet again, and that the trend for mobile devices was increasing apace, especially in countries where there has been little adoption of computer technology previously, like across Africa. The number of Smart phones and tablet devices I see here around the university bear testament to this. If these devices are so common are there ways we can harness the power of them for e-assessment?
This tool can be used on any device, as you can access it via a web interface, or via apps on some devices. The beauty of it is that the interface is identical no matter which way you choose to access the quiz. The tool allows you to set up a variety of question formats through a simple interface, and now you can include images with the questions. When learners take the quiz you can see progress immediately. Another facility it offers is to be able to create an exit poll to enquire about what has been learned in a session, and also set a closing problem.www.socrative.com
This has to be the simplest quiz creator ever, if you can make a PowerPoint you can do this. You create your quiz in PowerPoint and upload it as a .ppt or .pdf file, then you take the quiz to set the correct answers and you’re done. All quizzes run through a browser so can be used on any web connected device or PC. It’s not sophisticated, only allowing four choice MCQs, but it does let you create wonderful looking quizzes simply based on existing Office templates. When you run these on handheld devices it simply looks like it was designed for that device.www.quizslides.com
This platform offers a great choice of question formats that are easy to set up in advance and run as you need. You can even choose to run spot questions as you go. The really nice option though is to be able to use drawing questions. You can upload your own images and then ask learners to indicate specific things, or even draw a simple diagram on a blank canvas. When their images are submitted, you can view them on screen and save them in .pdf format. The slightly frustrating thing is drawing can be a bit difficult if you want fine detail, so getting people to write labels isn’t viable, better to ask them to indicate things as A, B, C.
Another feature, which is wonderful for accessibility, is that InfuseLearning offers the option of text-to-speech question and answer reading. Alongside this it can convert questions and answers into a limited number of alternative languages. It runs on all web browsers except Internet Explorer, so can be accessed on many different devices.www.infuselearning.com
This is a beautiful tool that can be run via an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch app available through iTunes. A new function has just been added to allow access via a browser for participation in the quizzes, however the administrator still needs to use an Apple device to control the session. You can upload a PowerPoint presentation, or pdf to create a slide show to which you can then add a variety of styles of questions at relevant points. Originally you controlled the pace of change of each slide, and when to move on at each quiz point, as the ‘teacher’ was in charge of moving each slide forwards. The tool lets you see each individual’s progress to determine when to move forwards. Now there is also a ‘homework’ mode that allows learners to work through at their own pace. This tool really lets you test understanding as learners work their way through. www.nearpod.com
There are many other tools out there but these are my favourites. The beauty of all of these is you can test them out with no financial outlay, for some there are costs when you go beyond certain limits – number of participants, number of quizzes, or improved reporting. But what I especially like is the ease of setting up quizzes on all of these. In a visually savvy world, they also produce professional looking output to engage learners.
Author: Judy Bloxham | eLearning Adviser FE&SFC | Jisc RSC Northwest