Online quiz tools are useful for mixing up routine activities in your language classroom. Not only that but assessment apps may help to identify knowledge gaps and reduce grading time. However, downloading, learning and implementing a new program is time consuming, but these three are worth your while.
Socrative is a formative assessment app that comes in Student and Teacher versions. Students download a separate app with no registration required. Instructors have a choice between a free or Pro version—with differences in the number of classrooms available (1 for the free version and 10 for Pro) and students allowed (50 vs. 150, respectively).
This app offers four types of assessments: 1) traditional online quizzes with multiple choice, true or false or short answer question types, 2) a Space Race that introduces a competitive aspect, 3) a Quick Question in which students provide answers to questions provided through a different medium, and the 4) Exit Ticket that allows for metacognitive feedback.
While instructors must create the quizzes in advance, the assessments happen in real time and with the entire class. The feedback summaries provided through the instructor dashboard (and also downloadable) allow for a top-down look at your class as well as individual student performance. In fact, Socrative is a great tool for quickly checking whether students have mastered a recently-introduced concept or can recall what was covered in a previous lesson to gauge whether additional instruction or practice is required.
Advantages: students do not need to create accounts, downloadable data and feedback summaries, an easy-to-use interface, Quick Questions good to use for listening comprehension
Drawbacks: time to create quizzes, Exit Tickets not customizable, cannot integrate into PowerPoint presentations
Mentimeter is a polling tool with formative assessment applications. In particular, the company has created templates for language classroom use meant to quickly quiz students on vocabulary or check understanding of a grammatical concept without the use of paper. However, its most valuable application for language instructors is that it allows students to collaboratively create a visual word cloud using an open-ended question feature—a great activity for brainstorming vocabulary before a task and/or activating schemata.
Students can use Mentimeter through their mobile devices without having to create an account. There are three plans for teachers with price points set to allow a certain number of questions and features such as institutional branding or analytics. Even with the free version, the polls are easy to integrate into a PowerPoint presentation or share with your students via a link and ID number.
Advantages: anonymous answering allows even the students to participate, quick and easy-to-implement, real-time results, unlimited number of student users allowed per poll
Drawbacks: no individualized student feedback, results cannot be hidden, better for large classes
Speaking assessments are integral to language curricula yet take an exorbitant amount of time to arrange and grade. Extempore aims to make them a little easier to manage by eliminating the need for scheduling or file management. Instructors can easily create low-stakes or formal assessments using the Web interface, and students record their responses on their mobile devices.
Submissions are timed, so students are forced to provide unpracticed, extemporaneous speech. Teachers can grade and leave audio or video feedback on their submissions either on the Web or on the go.
What’s more, the platform allows students to collect their speaking responses into a digital portfolio to share as evidence of their abilities. Instructors can also have students listen to and reflect on their speech production and identify areas for improvement.
The platform has a varied cost structure, allowing for the student, the teacher or the institution to pay for the service; however, no free version is available.
Advantages: simple set up, data management capability, potential for metacognitive analysis for speech production
Drawbacks: cost could be a deterrent
by Kimberly Rehak for Express English 412
If You Teach a Language, You Need to Know About the Extempore App by Kelly Walsh:
Extempore: Digital Language Lab and Speaking Practice by Mike Karlin:
Socrative: Flexible, free, easy-to-use assessment tool by Lindsay Warwick:
Three Interactive Polling Tools Reviewed by Samantha Louise Clarke: