starQuiz – my take on the testMaker :)

Patrick is right. starQuiz is a great tool and although I have only used it once. I was impressed. I was especially impressed with “analytics”. The ability to see which questions kids had trouble with, a breakdown of scores, times, etc.

I agree, starQuiz is a great tool. You can give them a time limit after which the quiz cannot be submitted. You can also rest assured that you can have endless number of versions. The questions and even choices get scrambled.

Herein lies the problem. The two features mentioned above also led to some frustrating problems during my first run using the software (first runs will always have hiccups).

The time limit was frustrating because, I as a teacher, did not feel like I had the ability to take advantage of my absolute power and “pause” the testing process to explain something or correct something and then add a couple of minutes at the end for wasted time (soccer fans will know all about wasted time and stoppage time added at the end of regulation).

In my test, I had combined the test with some offline computer resources, and when there were some technical difficulties, I couldn’t account for that. So, that was an annoying feature when one was not expecting that. My teaching style is a little more aid back then some of my colleagues, so this time limit feature  doesn’t leave room for error or delays, or tech difficulties. But, you can just as easily not use the feature and limit it yourself like in the old days

“Bobby! Stop typing. Bobby! Hands off the keyboard…Boooobbeeeeeeeeee…”

The other issue I had was when I created some “sets of questions” that referred to previous problems.

Using the data in Question 12, create an algorithm that….

The questions were scrambled so I had Question 13 end up as number 23 and Question 12 end up as number 5. So that made no sense to my kids and I stood over their computers feeling my cheeks flush…duh! Haven’t used it since but I don’t believe there is a feature to allow for series of questions.

The other issue was with “all of the above” style questions. Because the choices get scrambled as well, that meant the “all of the above” or the “choices A and B” made no sense. Again, I’m not sure if there is a feature that allows you to have that style of question where the setup is unaffected by the scrambling. This annoyance has an easy workaround. Simply write out the choice to include the correct choices.

Example: Who bit the Mac logo apple?

  1. Omar
  2. Patrick
  3. Bill Gates
  4. Patrick and Omar
  5. Omar and Bill Gates

All in all, I too liked starQuiz and it definitely fills a gap in the test making software… in the test maker software that is usable niche 🙂

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