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The Answer Pad
Pros: The combination of both formative- and summative-assessment tools gives teachers valuable, immediate, and paperless feedback.
Cons: Compatibility with separate presentation tools would be useful, as could the option to include direct written feedback.
Bottom Line: A simple but flexible tool for paperless testing and engaging student-response activities in the classroom.
Because it's so easy, use The Answer Pad to make electronic answer sheets for paper tests, eliminating your need for paper Scantrons -- as well as sprints to your school's Scantron machine. The Common Core alignment feature is a nice touch, offering some valuable feedback. There are many question types, all with the ability to let kids show work on the scratch-pad tool. All the tests are auto-scored, giving reports of the data by individual student performance or by test item. You'll still want to use some other vehicle to provide narrative feedback to kids, since there's no good way to do so here.
Upgrading to Answer Pad+ gives teachers access to templates (maps, diagrams, and so on) to use with their questions, as well as uploading capabilities -- depending on your needs, this might be worth the purchase. Teachers can easily see who has responded and what kids have drawn and answered, as well as the class data. Even though the platform doesn't integrate with presentation tools such as PowerPoint or Keynote, the Go Interactive feature will most likely be useful during lectures and other types of direct instruction.
The Answer Pad (TAP) is an online assessment tool for BYOD classrooms or any other learning scenario where students can each use their own devices. Teachers do most of their work in the browser interface, while kids can use any browser or the free app available for both iOS and Android.
The tool has two main features that can help teachers manage formative and/or summative assessment. The Electronic Answer Sheet lets teachers create online answer forms to use concurrently with a separate test or quiz (on paper, online, or projected in class). The Go Interactive mode supports more on-the-fly, informal assessment for quick student responses during class activities. Question types include multiple choice, fill in the blank, slider bar, yes/no, pie chart, number wheel, and a blank space/graph for drawing.
One of The Answer Pad's greatest assets is the way it gives kids a simple and safe space to participate in class. It not only makes learning more interesting and engaging, but kids can participate without the fear of speaking –- or getting a "wrong answer" –- in front of the class. Teachers will likely find it useful, though the Interactive feature is similar to other types of student-response systems out there.
Another important feature allows both teachers and students to see their scores and review the answers; teachers get a summary of the student answers for immediate review, giving them the opportunity to assess kids' progress and possibly adjust the lesson accordingly. With that said, though the platform's features are functional, they aren't all as efficient as they could be. In particular, the question-editing tool can be a bit cumbersome. While this style of formative assessment is valuable on its own, a built-in feature to integrate other tools -- from presentations to videos -- could offer even more benefits for students' learning. The Answer Pad's more summative assessment features are a nice way to relieve some of the time spent grading, but direct feedback opportunities are limited. It's great for collecting information on student data but maybe not be the most effective way to create learning opportunities.