What Are Online Assessment Tools? (With Benefits and Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 January 2023

Published 4 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An online assessment tool can be an excellent platform for providing students with learning materials and reviewing student performance or progression. There's usually an abundance of software developers who generally provide two types of assessment tools, known as formative and summative. Understanding what an online assessment tool is can help you implement these tools into a classroom. In this article, we define what an online assessment tool is, discuss the benefits of these tools and list several online assessment tools for you to consider.

What are online assessment tools?

Online assessment tools can provide you with a technological platform to engage, teach and review students. There are two types of assessment tools, known as formative and summative, each serve a unique purpose, but some assessment software may include both. Below, you can find more details on each type of assessment tool:

Formative assessment tool

Formative assessments usually refer to minor tests and projects, which students conduct throughout the term, quarter or year. These assessments can include tests, quizzes, assignments, collaborative activities and group discussions. The purpose of a formative test is to monitor a student's development rate and knowledge progression.

A formative assessment tool is an online platform that provides several functions, processes and procedures to monitor student results. In machine learning (ML) environments, formative assessment tools can be an excellent method for providing learning materials. The formative assessment tool can help you monitor your students' answers, which can be an effective method of altering class content to suit the development rate of your students.

Summative assessment tool

Summative assessments usually refer to relatively large tests, exams, essays and projects. Students often conduct these assessments toward the end of a school year, quarter or term. These assessments typically summarise the learning content of the unit or course and may contribute substantially toward a student's overall grades.

A summative assessment tool is an online platform that can provide you with several functions for implementing and reviewing summary assessments. The online tool can highlight your students' results, progression and performance and allow you to compare these statistics with previous learning assessments. The summative assessment tool may also derive a benchmark grade from other students in similar learning environments. This can help you identify the students that might require additional resources when developing their skills and knowledge.

Related: What Is A Performance Indicator? (And How to Create One)

Benefits of using assessment tools

Below, you can find the teaching benefits of using online-based assessment tools:

Allows for regular feedback

Using an online assessment tool can help you provide regular and ongoing feedback to students. Providing feedback is usually an essential tool to encourage students to develop their skills. Using an online assessment tool can help you provide feedback considerably quicker than traditional assessment methods. This is because you and the students have access to the education software 24/7. In traditional assessment methods, you can only provide feedback in class and with physical copies of the assessment as a reference. An online assessment tool stores a record of test results, along with the associated feedback.

Related: How to Give Feedback Effectively (With Examples Included)

Personalises learning

Personalising your teaching in traditional learning environments may have limitations, such as the duration of the class and the number of students. By using an online assessment tool, you typically have more freedom to focus your resources on individual students that may require it more than others. An online assessment tool also provides analytical data that helps you understand the teaching methods that may benefit some students. A tool like this can also be an excellent way to provide specialised learning material that suits individual students.

Related: What Are Learning Skills? (With Definitions and Examples)

Provides flexible teaching methods

Using an online assessment tool can help you provide varying teaching styles that may benefit different students. In a traditional learning environment, the individual development rates of students may limit the pace of your classroom because the learning material you provide is usually standard for all students. An online assessment tool can allow you to provide customised learning material to different students and provide teaching services that improve their learning processes.

Encourages self-motivation

Some assessment tools may have features to set goals and objectives for student learning outcomes. The assessment software might also allow students to set their own objectives and outcomes. When students can visualise their progress and identify their educational milestones, they may feel motivated to continue their development. It can also be an excellent way for students to identify the areas in which they can improve. Students who feel motivated to learn typically develop quickly and may absorb information more effectively.


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Records analytical data

One benefit of using an online assessment tool is that it provides extensive analytical data. Traditional assessment methods also provide analytical data, but an online assessment tool typically visualises the data in a way that's easy to interpret. It can help you establish relationships between student performance and learning materials. For example, you might identify that a topic requires more clarification or elaboration because of student performances in that subject.

4 online assessment tools

Below, you can find several online assessment tools that you may implement in the classroom:

1. Kahoot

Kahoot is an interactive online assessment tool that encourages students to have fun while learning. The platform provides many features for creating online quizzes for students. You can customise these quizzes to include any questions, pictures, videos and interactive problem-solving activities. These online assessments usually encourage students to get involved because the quizzes include friendly competition. Combining competition with learning material can be an excellent way to improve student motivation and encourage them to develop their knowledge.

Kahoot can provide varying functions to help you review student performances in the assessments. The online platform stores analytical data to help you review the quizzes that students might struggle to complete. These analytical features can help you adjust quizzes and provide learning material to improve student knowledge on specific topics. The teaching style that Kahoot provides can benefit students of all ages, but it's typically most effective for teaching young students.

2. Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is an online assessment tool that focuses on student feedback. It also provides many features for creating and implementing online assessments. These assessments can include surveys, polls, quizzes and word clouds. This online platform has many customisable features that can help you provide flexible teaching styles to your students. It also has many tools for reviewing, analysing and discussing assessment results.

Poll Everywhere can be a useful online assessment tool because it's versatile in many learning environments. There are typically several versions of Poll Everywhere that suit unique circumstances, from kindergarten environments to university lectures and even professional workspaces. Using an online assessment tool that focuses on student feedback can usually encourage students to engage more in class. Poll Everywhere offers students opportunities to express their comprehension of topics discretely, which can be excellent for encouraging shy or anxious students to engage with the classroom.

3. Mentimeter

Mentimeter typically provides the same features as Poll Everywhere, except it has an abundance of pre-set assessment templates. This can be a time-effective method of providing students with varied learning material. If you don't like the pre-set templates, you usually have the freedom to customise the templates or create a new one with no existing formats. Mentimeter has features for creating quizzes, polls, formative assessments and interactive activities.

Mentimeter focuses on creating an inclusive classroom environment where all students can participate. The style of student feedback that Mentimeter provides usually encourages quiet students to partake in group discussions. Students provide feedback, answer questions and ask questions using smartphones or tablets. In traditional learning environments, only one student might respond to a question, but Mentimeter can allow all students to respond to the same question. This can be an excellent formative assessment tool because it can help you identify performing students and those who might require additional resources.

4. Socrative

Socrative is similar to Kahoot, except it may provide more appropriate features for older students in the later years of high school. Socrative focuses on customisable quizzes and assessments so you can provide the ideal assessments to your students. This online platform also provides the standard assessment tool features, such as recording student performances and displaying analytical data. It may also provide general management functions for organising class activities and student assessments.

Socrative has versions specifically for primary school students and high school students. The primary school version usually includes fun interactive games, while the high school variant provides students with more elaborate and complex assessments. One of the main benefits of both versions is that feedback can be instant. Socrative tests allow you to provide multiple choice answers, which the software can automatically grade.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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