What’s the best online assessment platform?

What’s the best online assessment platform?

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Confused man doing an online quiz

Recently a friend of mine asked me for advice on online assessment platforms. Unfortunately I wasn’t much help.

I have spent the vast majority of my career in organizations that have an assessment engine incorporated into their Learning Management System. These work just fine, even if they look like “Computer Based Training” from the 1980’s. Never mind, they get the job done.

However my friend has a problem: he wants to assess people outside of his organization too. The Learning Management System is set up so that only employees can access it. Technically it could be possible to open it up to outsiders, but realistically it ain’t gonna happen.

So what are his alternatives?

I’m thinking of online assessment platforms such as Questionmark and ProProfs. There are so many of these kinds of services available, and I haven’t used any of them, that I don’t feel comfortable in recommending one over the other.

My friend has some budget, but of course he doesn’t want to over pay. He’s interested in auto-marked multiple choice questions and short answer questions, and also in long answer questions and essays. If the latter could be auto-marked somehow that would be preferable, but he’s not holding his breath for that kind of functionality.

The platform would also need to offer analytics in terms of user results, and reporting so that the data can be exported and further analyzed if need be.

So my question to you, my L&D peer, is:

What’s the best online assessment platform?

Do you have any insight or experience you can share?

10 COMMENTS

  1. Ryan: This is new territory for me as well. It might help to know more about the nature of the assessments your colleague wants to conduct. Heck, he could just use something like surveymonkey.com and do the analytics himself. That offers the ability to create questions and answers as well as longer-form responses. It’s a disruptive use of the platform, but it might serve his short-term needs while addressing the cost issue.

    • SurveyMonkey isn’t a bad idea, thanks Mark. I love this platform for surveying, and I rue the fact that it doesn’t offer auto-marking for assessment purposes.

      Although manual marking introduces opportunities for human error, indeed it would work, and it wouldn’t be too much more trouble if long answers were being manually marked anyway.

      Oh yes, and the price is right!

  2. Try using Google Forms. You can create multiple choice, open ended, and more. There is an add on called Flubaroo that will grade all multiple choice and some open ended, depending on how you set it up. You get good clean stats/analytical in spread sheet form. Let me know if you need more info. I could help

  3. Guess what? The same goes for me. Apart from creating some very basis online questionnaires in the late 90s, all the assessment was created WITHIN the courseware using the functionality of the authoring tool (eg Captivate) and then uploaded into the Learning Management System. The best way I would answer this question, is to seek out what is happening in the academic and education sector. Assessments are a critical factor in their programs because they are required to achieve standards, competency and qualifications.

    There are many different open source tools and apps to create assessments, quizzes, polls and surveys and it’s just a matter of searching sites like Technology for Teachers to see what is out there. Some of these tools may also have a more basic design user interface suitable for education of children or they may require a log in from an education institution or teachers so I guess it’s having to explore a bit and see which ones would be relevant and applicable for adults. Another tool worthy of exploring is Socrative.

    One of the things that really piqued my curiosity while undertaking a MOOC a couple of years back was the concept of a ‘rubric’. Academics used it in their programs and I had never heard about it in the corporate learning and development arena. It’s a descriptive scoring system used for assignments and you can actually create them with different tools like this one here http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php however, once again, I had never used it in any corporate programs but they may have an application somewhere.

  4. My organization uses PAN (www.panpowered.com). It is a robust assessment platform that hosts several well known assessments from various publishers but it also has an authoring tool that allows you to build your own assessment and reports. It could be used with employees internally or externally (prospects, customers, applicants, etc.)

  5. Hey Ryan,

    I’m a little late to the party but I’m currently writing a guide about some of the best online course platforms and came across your article. I’d be interested to know which solution(s) you ended up recommending to your friend.

    Thanks!

    Gerfried

    • The need dissipated, Gerfried, so I didn’t end up recommending anything.

      Apart from the suggestions offered in the comments by others, I became interested in Socrative and Qzzr. I would look into these further if the need arose again.

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