using a polling application to adminster school tests

 I am always looking for assistance to cut down my marking load. I love Polldaddy which is a web 2.0 application that takes the trouble out of administering surveys. I have used Polldaddy recently to survey staff at my school on some programs that I have run. I started thinking wouldn't it be wonderful if I could create a test that could mark itself! it would be the ultimate teachers dream. Then I thought some more.

I thought I could use Polldaddy. There are a number of different levels of membership of Polldaddy and I only have a free membership which allows me to write 10 questions per test. The type of questions that I can write are:

  • Multiple choice (4 answers)
  • Single sentence answers
  • multiple sentence answers
  • Matrix answers (Like a rating type of question)

The best thing about Polldaddy is that it collects all your results and then places them in an excel sheet... so if you do only multiple choice questions then you can write commands in excel that will mark it for you. Even if you use short answer questions you still are at an advantage because instead of 28 tests to mark it is all in one excel sheet.

There are of course other survey applications that you could use and I have added links below. The only one I have tested at this stage is Polldaddy.




So how did the kids find the testing well... they loved it. Obviously this will not replace all testing... but it is a novel way for kids to complete an assessment that they seemed to enjoy more then most of the others I have tried.

What about cheating? well as in any formal assessment there is no substitute for vigilance by the teacher... When the test was going on I was walking around and I could see almost all computers at the same time. I guess the trick also is to test on topics that there is no easy google answers!

So teachers out there give yourself a break and try a survey application as a testing device you may be pleasantly surprised:)

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