WISE App: To Grade or Not to Grade?

Many innovations have taken aspects of teaching into the 21st century, but what about grading? For most teachers, grading takes up a large part of their time that could be spent making class plans or creating a new curriculum. Once tests are graded, it takes even more time to aggregate and analyze the results. Recently however, Creative Instructional Designs released an ambitious grading app aimed at alleviating the burden of grading and helping teachers get more out of the time-consuming process.

Designed by two long-time teachers, WISE (Wireless Interactive Scanning Examinations) is a mobile app that allows teachers to scan, grade and organize test results within minutes all from a smartphone. WISE begins by allowing teachers to enter student names and create multiple classes to which students can be added.

Students and classes can be entered manually or teachers can download a student information template sheet from the WISE website. This sheet allows students to fill in their name and class on a bubble sheet that can be quickly scanned via cell phone and automatically uploaded to the app.

Once class and student information has been entered, teachers can enter test keys and start grading. In order to use the WISE app, teachers must use test templates that are available for free on the WISE website. Templates include 30-, 60- and 100-question answer sheets.

Once teachers have made a test, they bubble in the answers on a test template sheet, scan it with the WISE app, and label the test by name and class. When students are taking the test, they will need to track their answers on a WISE test template sheet in order for the app to scan it.

The WISE app also utilizes great features that make it a practical and simple resource for any teacher. One feature allows teachers to see which questions students are skipping the most and which answers are illegible. This allows teachers to double check and see if the illegible answers are correct or not.

Once tests have been scanned and entered, useful data is immediately available for teachers, such as the average grade in the class, top missed questions and top correct questions, and individual student reports. This information can then be printed out for future reference.

Reviews of WISE have been very positive, pointing to a smooth and simple interface without providing unnecessary information. According to the iTunes website, one reviewer noted that the app was, “Beautiful, logical and easy to use.” Another teacher also pointed out that the app was great for super fast grading and giving students immediate results.

Currently, the WISE app is free to download on a trial basis, and teachers can begin using all the features right away. After 100 tests have been scanned, a subscription is necessary for continued use. A one-month subscription is $1.99, and a year subscription is $19.99. The WISE app is optimized for iPhone 5, but is also compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. The app also requires iOS 5.0 or later.