I’m currently coaching a Battle of the Books team at my school. For those that aren’t familiar with the program, B.O.B allows small teams of students to read popular books and then compete against each other using their knowledge of said books. While I’m not exactly down with the whole competitive reading thing, I do enjoy the fact that my team has been practicing their wiki skills by using Wikispaces to collaborate on their reading journals.
What’s even more fun is that it’s given me a chance to play around with ClassMarker, a really nifty website that allows you to create your own online quizzes, and then share them with others. Multiple choice, short answer, and punctuation tests can all be created using ClassMarker, and then managed with a roster of students, or just shared as an open quiz that can be taken again and again. The punctuation test was very much like a digital version of Daily Oral Language in that you provide a sentence with poor grammar and spelling, and then provide the correctly written sentence. The students have to type in their answers, and the website then compares it to the correct version. Quite a nice little feature that would serve well as bell-work or a Language Arts center. Using a projector, you could even turn it into a whole class activity, with students coming up and typing in their answers. Either way, ClassMarker saves all of your tests, so rather than having to retype and/or rewrite your sentences everyday, you can re-use tests and quizzes from last year, last week, or whenever.
In addition to allowing you to share your quizzes with anyone via an e-mail invitation or a link to put on your own website, ClassMarker also allows you to manage a classroom of students. The website allows you to setup different classes, and can even generate login keys for up to 1000 students in those classes. When the student visits the site, they punch in their login key, and are able to create their own account that allows them to take just the quizzes you assign that class. Results can be delivered to students in a number of ways, including showing them the answers for every question they missed, or just giving them a final score if you prefer not to give them the answers. You can also have the results for each student e-mailed to you, and turn off or on “Practice Mode”, which is a great feature for doing pre-tests and/or practice quizzes.
The site is provided absolutely FREE in exchange for Google Text Ads which are shown on the site. I know that can be a sore point for some, but for a mere $24.95, you can upgrade your free account to an Ad-Free account for an entire year! Not bad considering the high price of similar online assessment programs like Microsoft Class Server and others.