Yesterday, it was announced that InfuseLearning, the popular, free online formative assessment tool, will be closing its doors for good on April 3, 2015. Those that have used it know that it was a great tool for teachers who were looking to gather data on their students to help inform future instruction. However, of late, it did not work as well as it used to, and ultimately this looks to have led to its eventual demise. So, here is a roundup of some of the best alternatives to InfuseLearning.
1. Socrative – It has been around for a while, but the recent 2.0 update gave it a much needed facelift and some new features to boot. It’s free, multi-platform, and a great way for teachers to get data on how well their students understand the content. They also have a great resource page with training materials to help you introduce this tool to others.
2. Kahoot! – If you’ve been to an edtech conference in the last 12 months, the chances are good that you have already been part of a Kahoot! quiz. Kahoot is a gamified approach to assessment, and it definitely adds a fun factor to a traditional quiz. Like Scorative, it can be used on any modern device. Read more about Kahoot here.
3. Google Forms – Google Apps schools have been using Forms to collect assessment data for some time now, and over the years Forms has evolved to become an interesting online quiz tool. There are a variety of useful question types that include the ability to add images and videos. Pair it with Flubaroo, and you have a powerful self-grading assessment tool.
4. Excel Surveys – Not a Google school? Microsoft offer their own version of survey tool called Excel Surveys. It is available to Office 365 schools, or anyone with a free personal Microsoft account via Office Online. It lacks some of the more useful options found in Google Forms, but there is still enough to make it worth a look. Read more about Excel Surveys here.
5. Plickers – If devices are not plentiful in your school, then Plickers is exactly what you need. If you’ve never used it before, you will be amazed at how it works. You print out a collection of four sided QR code-like markers for students. They select the answer they want to give by rotating the card to the letter they want to submit, and the teacher scans the cards with a smartphone or tablet to record student responses. Read about Plickers here.
6. Geddit – Another great option for the classroom is Geddit. This innovative tool focuses on real-time feedback for the teacher. Students check in via their device at any time during the lesson to communicate their comfort level with your content. The teacher sees these results in real-time on their device and can vary their instruction accordingly. They can also quiz students for understanding, and a math equation editor is included for science and math teachers. Find out more about Geddit here. – UPDATE: Geddit is closing in the summer of 2015 😦
7. ExitTicket – This comprehensive student response system is free for teachers, with additional modules available for a modest price. Again it runs on almost any device you can think of (can you see a theme here?), and it gives teachers a data dashboard that quickly summarizes the results generated by your students. You can even customize ExitTicket to include Common Core or Science Standards as part of your assessments. The basic account is a little limited compared to the paid plans, but at least you get to try before you buy.
8. ClassKick – This is perhaps the newest of all the tools on this list, but it is one that is well worth checking out if you have not seen it before. It is aimed specifically at iPad classrooms with a free app available from the App Store. It is a little different from the others in this list in as far as the focus is to give students feedback on their work. The teacher creates assignments for the class and sees all the iPads of their students at once while they are working on it. Students can request help from the teacher or from other students, all in real-time. An overview is included in the video below:
9. Pear Deck – My colleague, Gina Rogers (@grogers1010), is a big fan of Pear Deck, and rightly so. Like ExitTicket, Pear Deck has a free and a paid account option, but it includes some nice features that you don’t always find in other assessment apps. For instance, you can build your Pear Deck presentation from Google Drive because it is completely integrated with Google Apps for Education. It also has a drawing tool and a “draggable dot” question type that is somewhat unique. All student data is fed back to teachers in real-time. You can join a free Pear Deck webinar every Tuesday to learn more.
10. EdPuzzle – There are several tools available to add questions to a YouTube video, but EdPuzzle remains one of my favorites. They add new features all the time and have one of the best video libraries to search for the content that you want to use with students. You can trim the video to the length you need, add quiz questions for students that are timestamped to specific points in the video, add your own audio narration or voice notes, and even upload your own screencasts. Teachers can also prevent students from skipping ahead in the video to get to the questions, if required. Data from student responses are stored in the teacher dashboard. If you are already familiar with EdPuzzle, try Office Mix to add some pizazz to your PowerPoints.
UPDATE: After this post was published, a number of other apps and tools were suggested by people in the comments, and on social media, so I wanted to include these below as some additional options that you may want to take a look at. Please get in touch if there are others you would like to add to this list.