Assessment | News
Varsity Tutors Debuts Free Test Question Site
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Varsity Tutors, a providor of private tutoring to students online, has launched a new, free service with the intention of becoming the "Khan Academy" of practice tests. The company has introduced a Web-based assessment system intended to replace other forms of educational content such as SAT or ACT preparation books or online subscriptions to assessment materials.
Varsity Learning Tools, as it's called, makes hundreds of free practice tests available in 95 subjects. Currently in open beta testing, the site lists assessment tests by subject and allows the user to choose to answer a single test, flashcards, or a question of the day.
Each question can be shared through social network services. When the student answers it, a second page displays with an assessment and explanation and data on how much time was spent on the question, and how many others answered it correctly.
"Teachers often use poorly written free content, buy expensive content from big publishers, or have to create practice problems on their own," said Marketing Coordinator Cathryn Sloane. "We intend to change that by providing a free resource of millions of practice problems that can be used by students at home and teachers within schools because we believe all teachers should be able to provide high quality content to their students. We believe this will be a true game changer in the EdTech and publishing markets."
She added that the company currently produces 5,000 new problems each month and anticipates scaling that up to 50,000 "in the near future."
The test question service can be adopted by a teacher who can create custom tests for the class, invite test-takers to try out questions, track learner progress, and maintain group progress from a single dashboard. The service works on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.