Using ExamView for more than paper and pencil testing - work smarter not harder.
Over the next couple of issues, I will be expanding on how to use ExamView to create assignments and tests as well as other features designed to make teaching a little easier.
This issue looks at features included in ExamView test generation software. Other test generation programs offer similar features.
With the instructor's resources package supplied with textbooks, the publisher typically includes a test generation software package that correlates with the text. I have been using ExamView for several years and have found some features that greatly expand its uses beyond simply printing out a paper test.
Figure 1 shows the main file menu from ExamView. There are two major options, the Publish To and Export functions. Under Export, tests can be sent to one of three different learning management systems (LMS) or to HTML. Many schools use an LMS for the distribution and receipt of content and for testing. For the benefit of those who do not use an LMS, we are going to look at how to use the Export to HTML function.
By selecting Export to HTML, ExamView takes the test file and converts it into a webpage. This is nice for several reasons:
I like to include extended response questions that require a student to explain why he or she selected a particular answer - see Figure 4. This requires a student to defend a multiple choice answer. You can make credit for selecting the correct response dependent upon the reason supplied by the extended response to help ensure the correct answer wasn't just a lucky guess. Note that you will need to grade extended response questions yourself as there are limits to what ExamView can accurately judge as correct.
- You can incorporate images easily without having to print a long, multi-page test document - see Figure 2.
- The test data is contained within the HTML files. This means that for question types such as true/false, multiple choice, and short response, the test is graded by the software and the results are emailed to you. See Figure 3. This saves you time and your eyesight since you won't have to try to decipher hand written responses all of the time.
Because ExamView can export the test as a web page, any computer or device with a web browser can be used to take the test as long as it can connect to the file and to the Internet to email the results.
I copy the test file onto a section of the school's network reserved for student access. The students log into the network, go to the file location, and open the test with a web browser. Once they complete the test, the test details are emailed to me. I then review the results and record the scores. Once all the tests have been submitted, I simply copy the email with their results and send it back to the students so they have their own detailed results to look over.
You can also save the files as study guides or even homework assignments and place them on your website so students can access the files outside of school. More on this in future issues.