I know many teachers (including myself) have to wait in line in the teacher’s room for their turn at the Scantron machine or when we realized we’ve made a mistake and have to rescan all the tests again. These issues are cumbersome to say the least. With this app, supposedly these problems will not only be swept away, but also cut down on time and stress. I wanted to see if this app was true to it’s word, so I decided to download the app and give it a try.
First thing I had to do in order for this to work was download their free answer sheets that are only compatible to the ZipGrade app. They offer a twenty, fifty, and hundred questions answer sheets in both PDF and PNG formats that can be printed out on any type of paper. For this test, I decided to go with the fifty questions answer sheet because I wanted to see how accurate it would pick up the answers along with the student ID section (which isn't available on the twenty questions answer sheet). Right away, I noticed that the first question bubble was on the second half of the paper due to the student ID section taking up the upper half. I could easily see this confusing students when they first use this type of answer sheets. As a teacher, all you have to do is simply remind them before they start answering.
I decided to create two students (Bruce Banner and Peter Parker) in the app to take a Marvel & DC Comics quiz that I quickly made. For an educator, it's going to be time-consuming to individually type in each student's name and putting them into periods through the app, but it's a process that only needs to happen once. Once you enter their name, the app generates a student id for them to bubble in each time they take an assessment. As we all know, students are sometimes forgetful, so if you're going to use the student ID section, make sure you have a list of ID numbers so you can remind them what it is if they forget. If you don't want to deal with that, that's okay! The student ID is completely optional, but it does enhances the app's features and makes it easier for the educator in the long run.
Once I finished making an answer key of the imaginary quiz through the app, I bubbled in the answers on the answer sheets for both Peter and Bruce. I decided that Peter would get all the answers correct and Bruce would have the majority of the questions wrong. After I finished the answer sheets for the both of them, I opened up the ZipGrade app, went to the specific quiz that I'm about to grade, and I clicked scan papers.
From there, the ZipGrade app uses the camera on the phone to look at the paper. All you have to do in order for the app to scan is to match up the four corners of the answer sheets to the four corners on the phone screen. Once I was able to do that, the results were instantaneous. To my surprise, the app successfully picked up the right and wrong answers from the two answer sheets. Afterwards, I was able to go back in the app and review a picture of the actual answer sheet and a breakdown of what that specific student or entire class got right or wrong.
The actual grading process took less than a second to do and was much faster and easier than the Scantron process. For this write-up, I was able to utilize the 100 scan trial for free, which you can do as well to try it out for yourself. The subscription plans that they have is a unlimited scanning for two months for $1.99 and a year for $6.99. In my opinion, I find those prices to be completely reasonable and fair for what this app provides for us educators who decide to use multiple-choice for our assessments. In conclusion, I definitely recommend trying out this piece of educational technology. You can also check out the photo slideshow below this post to see a glimpse of what the app has to offer.