Easy Test Maker is a web tool to create tests, quizzes/exams, questionnaires or even activities. It is quite a simple tool to use and useful for any type of class. You can start by signing up very fast. Once you are logged in you can create your first test/quiz by simply clicking ‘‘Click here to create your first test’’. You can then create a name for your quiz. Then you must choose your section heading. There are different types of quizzes/exams: Short answer, multiple choice, true or false, matching or fill in the blanks. Web 2.0 Teaching tools have EasyTestMaker in their top 5 Quiz Generators for Online Educators. It is a website that suggests a lot of different tools for classrooms. The first time you sign in, you have a page saying what buttons are used for what. Also, EduTeacher, which also recommends useful tool, gives it 4 stars on 5. It is highly graded on both website, which can show its usefulness.
The section headings are the different parts of the exam. Once that you have chosen the type of question, for example True or False, you can either click on ‘add another question after saving’ or simply click on saving and add another type of question. The questions get numbered automatically and you can see your quiz/exam on the screen. It is possible to decide the value of each question when writing the question. If you want to change the order, you can simply move around the questions. The tool is free, but there are 3 different optional services: 1) Free: Easy to use test interface, all question types available, answer sheets, multiple sections, automatic question renumbering when questions are moved, 25 test limit. 2) Plus: Automatically generated alternate versions, exam builder, export PDF & word, spell check, bold (highlight, italicize), unlimited test (44.95$/year). 3) Premium: Upload images (charts or graphs), online test (publish any test to be taken online, results automatically graded, print individual test results with grading marks. Export results in Excel/CSV file (74.95$/year).
Both the answer key and the test itself can either be printer or saved (PDF or Word). When published online it opens more possibilities because it can give the grades automatically. It is also possible to alternate questions in order to make more than one version of the test. In any classroom, it can be used to give students fast results and know how they did on their exams instead of waiting a couple classes.
EasyTestMaker is useful for teachers because it enables them to give quizzes and test for small homework instead of a regular paper worksheet. This tool can be useful in an ESL classroom because it is one of the courses that students don’t have a lot weekly, giving mini quizzes between courses can help refresh students’ mind. Therefore, it can maximize class time because you do not waste time on correcting the homework in class; only give specifications if a question has been missed by the majority of the students. Students often forget their English homework because they put more importance on French or even Math; if you ask them to do them from home and they can get an automatic grade, students will be more motivated to learn the target language. As stated earlier, English teachers do not see their students as often as other main courses, it is good for teachers to have automatic feedback and change their course plan if too many students do not have good results. Another interesting option for ESL classrooms, is if you give the students a reading and ask them to answer the short answer questions. By doing this, you can integrate computers, since they are answering short answer questions, the students have time to use an online dictionary, a thesaurus or even a translating website. That way, students can learn on their own and improve their knowledge of English. It is also possible to make a verb test and bring students to the computer lab. Students don’t like English courses that much, bringing them to the computer lab might motivate them.
One negative aspect is that whether quizzes or test are done home or in class, it is easy to cheat. It demands the teacher more effort to pay attention and preparation (i.e. creating more than one version). Another disadvantage might be the fact that there are paying versions. Since the free version you can only create a limit of 25 tests, after not too long you have to buy a new version. It does cost a lot, therefore this is something that would make me hesitate to use it, since after a while I have to pay to have the possibility to give more tests. But, if you have a printed copy of each you can easily scan them for future courses (waste of paper, not ecologic!). Also, all the interesting options are in the paying versions, which makes it less attractive to teachers.
I personally do find this tool practical to give as a homework for students in an ESL classroom. It is very simple to create different quizzes or tests and very effective. I was able to create a quiz, with three different type of questions and have the answer key on my side. If need be, there are different tutorials on Youtube. I also find very practical the fact that we do not need to print 100 copies for each student, it can all be online. I would suggest to use this tool once in a while, therefore you can create tests, once in a while and wait longer before having to use the payable version,