The Pearson English Portal gives you access to all the English teaching tools that you need to run a successful class. It’s easy to use, encourages engagement, enhances the learning experience and helps to improve student outcomes. We are pleased to announce that we’ve been busy working on some exciting updates to the Portal. Now you can create your own assessments using the new Test Generator tool and easily monitor student progress.
Why is it important to assess your students?
Assessment can be a time-consuming part of teaching. However, it has numerous benefits for both you and your students:
- Assessment helps you benchmark and measure student performance
- It allows you to identify and support individual student needs
- Students can identify their strengths and weaknesses
- Students can see their progress and set new targets and goals
The Test Generator gives you all of the benefits of assessment, while making it fast and easy to create and mark exams.
How does the Test Generator work?
You can simply create a class within the Portal, add your students to it and then make a test for them. (See at the end for the list of courses for which Test Generator is currently available.)
Here is how you do it:
- Go to your class and click on the Tests tab.
- Next, it’s time to customise your test. Select the activities you’d like to include. You can choose from a range of activities and preview them before you decide to include them.
- You’ll also need to decide the time period in which students will be able to sit the test.
- Add any instructions for students that you want to include.
- Assign the test: your students will receive a notification within the Portal about the test
- When it’s time for the test, students simply fill in their answers and then submit their completed tests to be marked automatically – all within the Portal.
What are the benefits of the Test Generator for teachers?
As each student’s profile is directly linked to the course that they are studying, you can be sure the test questions are all relevant to the classes that you’ve been teaching.
It’s easy to create variants of the same test, meaning that you can give different versions to different groups of students, or easily create a new version if you want your students to resit the test.
And from the end of the month (Nov, 2020), you will be able to create a pdf version of the test that you can print out and give to your students in a traditional paper-and-pen format.
Is it easy for students to cheat?
When it comes to distance learning, assessment can be more challenging. It’s harder to make sure that students are doing the test themselves, without checking materials to help them complete the questions, or sharing the answers with one another.
Setting a limited time slot in which students must take the test means that they have less time to check their answers.
You can also randomize the test in two different ways. The questions can be set so that each student sees the test activities in a different order. And for multiple-choice questions, the answers are automatically randomized, so that it’s harder for students to share the answers.
If you’re handing out a printed test, you can create up to five different versions of the same test. Again, this makes it more difficult for students to share their answers with each other.
How are the tests marked?
Busy teachers everywhere will be delighted to know that the tests are automatically marked – no marking necessary, unless you’ve set an open task such as writing. Then you’ll need to mark that activity manually.
Students who take the test online will receive their score right after they submit the test.
If you’ve used a printed test, you’ll have to mark the test yourself – but the generator provides an answer key for each of the test variants which will speed up the process.
Find out more about the Pearson English Portal on our website. Other recent updates to the Portal include a new Zoom integration and interactive ebooks. For an overview of all the new updates, read our interview with Ujjwal Singh, the VP of Digital Innovation at Pearson.
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The Test Generator is currently available for these courses (as of Nov, 2020):
- Poptropica English (American English) and Poptropica English Islands (British English)
- Team Together
- Focus 2nd Edition
- High Note
- Gold 6th Edition
- Gold Experience 2nd Edition
- Speakout 2nd Edition