As individuals, we constantly evaluate our decisions and options to know how well they meet specific goals, hence assessment. However, in formal contexts like schools and the workplace, assessments happen on a larger scale, and you need particular tools to pull them off.
In this article, you’ll learn about different assessment tools that will help you evaluate performance in various contexts. We’d give an overview of each method, its pros and cons, and specific features to look out for as you decide.
An assessment tool is a technique or method of evaluating information to determine how much a person knows and whether this knowledge aligns with the bigger picture of a theory or framework.
Assessment methods differ based on context and purpose. For example, personality tests use your responses to discover character traits, and financial assessments measure how much you know about concepts like saving and investments.
Regardless of the context, all assessment tools depend on a set of well-thought-out questions to gather insights and arrive at informed conclusions by interpreting these insights.
The right assessment tool produces the same results over time. So there’s a consistency, or accuracy in these results. Here, you should consider whether the test can replicate results whenever it is used.
For example, if the students perform the same tasks simultaneously, then such assessment passes as reliable.
The validity of an assessment boils down to how well it measures the different criteria being tested. In other words, it is the idea that the test measures what it intends to measure.
This means your assessment method should be relevant to the specific context. For example, if you’re testing physical strength, you shouldn’t send out a written test. Instead, your tests should include physical exercises like pushups and weightlifting.
A good assessment tool is equitable, which means it doesn’t favor or disfavor any participant. Fair assessments imply that students are tested using methods and procedures most appropriate to them. Every participant must be familiar with the test context so they can put up an acceptable performance.
Standardization means applying consistency to your testing methods. For example, if you’re sending out a questionnaire, it should have the same set of questions for all participants, and all the answers should be graded using the same criteria.
Other characteristics of assessment tools include:
An educational assessment tool is used for evaluating students’ performance and their level of knowledge in a particular subject. Educational assessment tools can be used during the learning process or on an ongoing basis.
For example, in formative assessment, the teacher deploys different methods to track a student’s performance as learning progresses. This allows the instructor to identify and fix knowledge gaps as they move from one learning phase to another. But in summative assessment, the teacher waits till the end to measure the student’s performance using a rubric of expected learning outcomes.
Expectedly, different assessment tools work for different types of educational assessment. So, while quizzes and straw polls are suitable for formative evaluation, end-of-term examinations with close-ended questions are better-suited for summative assessments.
1. ASSISTments: This is a free online platform that teachers can use to assign Maths tests to students, whether during the learning process or outside the classroom. ASSISTments allow instructors to provide immediate feedback as students turn in their tests.
2. Formplus: Teachers can use Formplus to create surveys, questionnaires, and polls for classroom assessments. Students can participate in these assessments even without an internet connection, and teachers can analyze responses immediately.
3. Google Classroom Question Tool: Google classroom allows you to create and share questions with your students right in the app. Teachers can each student’s answer separately or set up a discussion with different groups.
4. Quizizz Tool: If you’re conducting fact-based tests, then the Quizizz tool is a great option. In Quizizz, you can set up self-graded tests, which helps you save time on assessments.
A research assessment tool is used to measure the impact of a systematic investigation based on specific criteria. These criteria could be the research results, level of participation from research subjects, and other similar metrics.
For example, after a systematic investigation, you can send out an internal survey to gather feedback from key players in the process. A research assessment tool can also help you determine the extent to which the research outcomes solve the identified problem.
1. Formplus: Formplus can be used to create post-research surveys for your reports and dissertations. You can send out private forms to your team members for feedback, analyze responses, and identify ways to improve future investigations.
2. AAC&U Value Rubrics: This assessment tool allows you to measure key learning outcomes, including critical thinking, inquiry, and analysis, communication, literature comprehension, as part of your research evaluation process.
3. Research Reports: Apart from providing details of the research process, a research report offers an opportunity to evaluate the entire process to know what worked and what didn’t. It allows the researcher to identify any gaps in the research for further investigation.
A project assessment tool is a method of evaluating the success of your project. These tools can be used in different contexts, such as launching a new product, introducing an additional feature in an existing product, and launching a new branch of your business.
Before choosing a project assessment tool or method of evaluation, you should consider different factors like the project scale, how much money you’ve invested into it, and if you have the resources to pull it off. For example, a simple project might not require a complex evaluation with complex assessment tools.
You should also define the project’s success parameters. If success is quantitative, you need a tool that can measure numerical data like the number of people who signed up for an event. If success is qualitative, then the assessment tool should evaluate the participants’ perceptions and impressions of the project.
1. Surveys: Tools like Formplus allow you to send out surveys, questionnaires, and polls for opinion sampling and feedback. Before launching your project, you can send out a baseline survey, and after the project, you can administer a post-event survey. This allows you to compare project outcomes with the issues raised in the baseline survey.
2. Observation: Participant and non-participant observation methods can be used to gather first-hand feedback from participants after your project launch.
3. Case Studies: A case study is an in-depth exploration of a subject matter related to real-life occurrences.
An HR assessment tool evaluates employees’ workplace performance to help organizations provide the best support for their teams. At the same time, these tools help employers develop strategies that improve the human resource system and make it more effective.
Tools like Adface, Berke, and Athena Quotient can identify the most suitable candidates for roles during the recruitment process. HR assessments cut across psychometric testing, personality tests, and 360-degree feedback.
Examples of HR Assessment Tools
1. 360 Degree Feedback: Here, the HR manager collects feedback from everyone affiliated with an employee. These include the people who work with the employee, team managers, and peers. You can use Formplus to create surveys for 360-degree feedback.
2. Assessment Center: This method requires employees to perform tasks in groups, together with their managers, assessors, and other team members.
3. HR Accounting: Here, the HR manager examines how much money is spent on training, research, and employee development against their level of productivity and whether the training and development programs have resulted in a higher yield for the company.
Formplus supports multiple data gathering functionalities, including creating quizzes and exams for assessments. Quizzes come in handy for formative assessments where you have to evaluate the participants’ knowledge of the subject matter as they learn.
You have access to different field options to help you create a suitable quiz. Checkboxes and radio fields come in handy, plus you can add image options to make the quiz more interactive. As participants send in their responses, you can review them and provide feedback.
Formplus allows you to collect data from participants in offline mode. All Formplus forms are automatically available offline which means respondents can fill and submit responses when they have poor or no access to the internet.
For example, in the classroom, students can complete quizzes and surveys without access to the internet. Any responses received in offline mode are uploaded on our secure servers or your preferred cloud storage system when there’s an internet connection.
As a research tool, Formplus is an effective way to create surveys for systematic investigation. In some way, assessments are forms of research since they involve collecting and analyzing data to arrive at results. Formplus can help you build different surveys and other research tools for data collection.
After creating your survey on Formplus, you’ll have different sharing options for survey distribution. Asides from sharing it on social media using the direct share buttons, you can share your survey via QR code or send out email invitations to preselected participants.
With calculation fields, participants can perform simple arithmetic processes in your Formplus forms. Calculation fields come in handy during Mathematical assessments—students can add and subtract variables to arrive at the correct answers.
They also process payments on product order forms, event registrations, online bookings, expense reimbursements, online donation forms and calculate date ranges for appointment bookings.
The most important thing you should consider when choosing your assessment tool is context. Although specific tools overlap, you still need to tailor them to suit particular, suitable use cases. For example, surveys for educational research are quite different from the ones used for 360-degree feedback.
Once you tie the tool to the context, you can choose the right questions to help you to gather valuable data. Most importantly, the results from assessments should inform improvements, whether at school, at work, or for your projects.
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