Educators are pretty adept at creating their own assessments, whether by writing questions from scratch in Microsoft Word, borrowing/purchasing tests from another educator or open source site, or even cutting and pasting questions from paper to “scan together” a completed test. If you’ve explored even one of these test-creation methods, you’ve probably asked yourself some of the following questions:
- Do I trust this test to cover the skills and standards I need it to in a high-quality way?
- Are the items written at the correct grade level for my students?
- Do questions include the vocabulary and item variety students need to be familiar with for end-of-year tests?
- Do I have time to grade and analyze the results following this test?
Now, consider how many educators do this each week, unit, or semester for multiple subjects or grade levels. The minutes quickly add up! Turning to a digital solution can help you build exit tickets, unit tests, or even standardized interim assessments without the headache. Let’s take a look at the increasingly popular feature in our K-12 practice and preparation program, Study Island, that will have you confidently answering ‘yes’ to all of the questions above. Test Builder allows teachers and administrators to easily create, customize, and share unique Built Tests that leverage questions from a pool of over 600,000 high-quality instructional items.
How does Test Builder work?
From the Main Menu of your Study Island account, you’ll find your Built Test Library. From here, you can create a new test, share your completed Built Tests with others, and assign Built Tests to classes of students.
- Build a Fresh Test: By following a simple step-by-step process you’ll have a test set up in no time. Name your test, add instructions for your students, and then select your questions. Test Builder allows you to select from assessment or practice items, filter by item type, and preview question stems before adding them to your test. Pull in questions from one topic or several to generate the perfect test for your students. And, on December 11th, you’ll gain the ability to create Built Tests that include questions from multiple grade levels and subjects.
- Share Your Test: Do you plan language arts for all the whole grade? Build a test once, then share with your grade-level team. Or, maybe you’re a testing or curriculum director that wants to build tests on a district scale, then share them with all buildings. You can do that, too.
- Assign Built Tests: You can build your tests months in advance or on the spot; just assign them when you’re ready. To assign a Built Test, you first need to have classes created. From there, you can choose a whole class, several classes, or even a subset of students within a class to complete your Built Test. Determine how long you want the testing window to be open and save your work—all set!
Want to see how students performed on your assessments? Using Built Test Reports, see individual student results and a breakdown of scores by topic. Then, dig one step further using item analysis to determine how students performed on each question. Students can also review their own results immediately after turning in a test. And, if it makes sense for the way you run your classroom, you can give your students the ability to review their missed questions too.
How can I use Test Builder in my classroom?
While this feature does include ‘test’ in the name, it’s a lot more than that. Test Builder is also designed to help you craft unique assignments, inform targeted instruction, and prepare students for end-of-year summative tests.
- Craft Unique Assignments: Perhaps one of the most-loved aspects of Test Builder is the ability to decide exactly what questions students will see. For that reason, this feature is often used to create assignments and exit tickets with just the right number of questions and variety of item types you want. And, did you know you can also launch a Built Test as a Group Session? Kickstart collaborative practice that includes the exact items you want to cover by combining the power of Built Tests and Group Sessions.
- Inform Targeted Instruction: Tests are about a lot more than a score in a gradebook; their power lies in using the data they yield to determine next steps for meaningful instruction. When you build tests that include a variety of items over the specific skill you just taught, you can see who’s ready to move on, who might need additional intervention, or if reteaching across the board is needed. There’s a reason teaching and learning go hand in hand—Built Tests can help you take the guesswork out of determining if students understand, and let them show you what they know.
- Prepare for End-of-Year Summative Tests: Many next-generation state assessments are now online and include a variety of different technology-enhanced item types. Give your students a chance to practice navigating online environments, use online tools to implement question strategies, and answer more complex items that promote higher-order thinking and inquiry.
Want to learn more about how to use Study Island Test Builder and other great features to support your classroom goals? Watch this recorded webinar on Year-Round Practice and Assessment with Study Island!