Recent Updates to QuizBean

We’re excited to announce that we’ve rolled out some substantial updates to QuizBean, including a new feature and some changes to the user navigation and dashboard. This post will cover what you need to know to keep quizzing without missing a beat.

A Feature for New Features

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.57.37 PM

QuizBean now boasts a feature request tool, allowing you to request new features that you’d like us to add to the app. You can navigate this tool by logging in and then clicking on the red light-bulb icon at the bottom left corner of your screen (check the screenshot below and you’ll see the button). You’ll be able to see all the requests that other users have added, upvote any of those requests, and, if you’ve got a brand-new idea that no one’s suggested yet, you can add it yourself by clicking the link below the table and providing a name and description for the feature.

To get the ball rolling, we’ve added all the requests we’ve received over the years via various channels. Make sure to review existing requests before adding your own. A much-voted-for request will stand out more than several similar requests with fewer votes.

Please note that this tool is intended for feature requests only. If you have issues with or questions about the app, you can submit them via the Intercom messaging tool, accessible via the chat icon in the lower right corner of your screen.

Improved User Experience

If you’ve logged into QuizBean recently, you’ve probably noticed that the app looks a bit different. We’ve simplified the navigation bar and redesigned the user dashboard.

Simplified Navigation

The navigation bar now only includes three primary links, to the pages our users most frequently hit: the My Quizzes, My Classes, and My Students pages.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE QUIZ BANK!?

But fear not, Quiz Bank enthusiasts! The Quiz Bank is alive and well, and you can access it via the Dashboard or via the My Quizzes page. On both pages, you can click the “Add a Quiz” button to access the Quiz Bank.

The Dashboard Gets a Facelift

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.35.06 AM

As part of this update, the Dashboard was reimagined. Previously, this page was geared toward new users, and we tried to add to it in ways that enhance the experience of active users. You can still perform all the actions that the old Dashboard featured, but the buttons have been shrunk and moved to the top right corner.

In place of the old buttons, we’ve added a copy of the Recent Quizzes view that appears on the My Quizzes page. For our active users, this is important info: it quickly summarizes the completion rates and results of the quizzes you’ve sent most recently.

We’ve also added a brand-new activity feed. The activity feed monitors recent activity (within the last week) pertaining to three aspects of quizzing: quiz creation, quiz sharing, and quiz taking. We hope to add more events in the future. (If you’ve got ideas for one, it’d be a perfect opportunity to try out the new feature request tool!)

Also new is a plan summary that includes key information about your QuizBean organization, including what plan you’re on; how many quizzes, classes, and students you have; and what your plan’s limits are. We heard from some users that this information was difficult to find, so we wanted to make it more accessible.

That’s it! There are some other small tweaks that we made that will not affect the average user, so if there’s something else that looks different to you or, even worse, if something doesn’t seem to work like it use to, please drop us a line using Intercom.


6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Easy-to-Use, Create Your Own Quiz Tool

Quizzes have been a teaching tool since dinosaurs walked the earth… well maybe not that long, but ever since teachers have been educating their students. They have been used throughout our lives: in elementary school, high school, and all the way through students SAT prep courses. Quizzes and pop-quizzes always seem to be so annoying for students in the moment, but they should be viewed as a tremendous learning tool when used the right way.

Consistent and frequent quizzing on a specific subject has been shown to be effective in helping to store information in a person’s long term memory. This “Testing Effect” or quizzing effect, is one of the reasons why it makes sense to include frequent quizzes in one’s teaching curriculum. In addition to using quizzes to help students remember material in the long term, quizzes are a great way to assess a student’s knowledge on a subject before starting to teach about it. Quizzes have their place in the educational landscape and are here to stay. Now it is up to educators to understand and connect with students in a world where education and technology are joined at the hip.

Here are 6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Create Your Own Quiz Tool to Improve Teaching and Learning

6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Easy-to-Use, Create Your Own Quiz Tool

1. For Efficiency’s Sake

Quizbean has recently partnered with Clever, an awesome application for both teachers and students. This makes life a heck of a lot easier for teachers trying to incorporate educational technology apps into their classroom. Clever has created an application which saves teachers hundreds of hours of administrative set-up time; they created a tool which allows teachers to easily make a quiz (through Quizbean) and automatically send it to all their students with a few clicks. When students complete a quiz sent by their teachers, their results are automatically posted online for the teacher to see. Teachers not only see how students did individually, but they see they bigger picture.

2. Real Time Feedback

When students are taking a Quizbean quiz, Instascore is enabled; students see how they are doing as they take a quiz. Students see which questions they answer correctly, and when they answer incorrectly, teachers have the option to add explanations to inform them about the correct answer. This feature benefits students as they are able to understand what information they have absorbed from their teacher and are able to simultaneously learn when they answer a question incorrectly. Students no longer have to wait a few days for the teacher to go through all the quizzes and correct them by hand. More time for teachers, better feedback for the students; win-win. Instantaneous feedback, Voilà!

3. Results and Analytics for Teachers

Some of the most beneficial features of Quizbean are the reports and analytics generated by the application. After students in a class complete a quiz, reports can easily be generated which show the individual results of each student, and also the collective results of the entire class. It is easy for teachers to see the patterns of which questions students tended to answer correctly, and those which they often got wrong. Since the quizzes give instant feedback, teachers don’t have to spend extra time grading all the quizzes individually. Teachers also can analyze reports to help them draw conclusions about how the students are absorbing the material they are teaching.

4. Accessibility For All

With the world growing more virtual day after day, students have the ability to access technology and online educational resources wherever they are. It is now easier than ever to create a quiz on Quizbean, and send it to your students to do as homework on their own time. Snow day coming? Have the students watch a short video and send an easy quiz to go along with it. The students will still be able to enjoy their snowball fights and sledding, and can do their 10 minutes of work after their day of play. A quick video and quiz on the day off seems like a good alternative to making up that snow day in June!

5. Shareability of Quizzes

Quizbean has an expansive quiz bank with quizzes that span all types of subjects: language, history, math, sciences and much more. Teachers can build upon quizzes they find in the Quizbean quiz bank to create study tools for their students. These quizzes can easily be shared to a teacher’s entire class or shared to a select group of students in their class. Teachers also have the option to share the quiz to anyone else through email or social media. Bottom line, once you find or make a quiz you like, it is easy as pie to share it.

6. Question Randomizer On/Off Toggle

Teachers have the power to turn the question randomizer on and off. This means when one quiz is sent from a teacher to all their students, they can control if ordering of questions will be different for each quiz. This can be highly beneficial to giving online quizzes in the classroom in an effort to dissuade cheating. This can ease your worries about whether little Johnny will try and peak over to see what Mary answered for number 7. Using the randomizer feature adds some mystery to you and the student, and who doesn’t love integrating strategy with learning?

Happy Quizzing everyone! Feel free to reach out to the team if you have any questions or suggestions.


Now Integrated With Clever.com

We are excited to announce that we have integrated with Clever.com. This means that we can now seamlessly import students, teachers, and classes directly from a school’s student information system!

If you are using QuizBean in a school that uses Clever.com already, let us know! If your school adds QuizBean to their list of Clever apps, your days of manually creating students and classes will be behind you. Plus, QuizBean supports single-sign-on, so once you’re signed in to Clever, you’re signed in to QuizBean!

If you’re using QuizBean in a K-12 school that does not yet use Clever.com, this might be an important opportunity for your school. Integration with Clever.com is free for schools and opens the door to seamless integration with a wide variety of educational apps (including QuizBean). We’d be happy to help connect the right people at your school with the right people at Clever.com – just give us a shout.


Enterprise Account Tier, Custom Themes

QuizBean___Quickly_Create_Online_Quizzes_For_FreeWe’re pleased to announce the release of customized quizzes and enterprise level accounts.

Enterprise accounts are designed for our high-volume business customers. This tier allows for more quizzes and students than any previous account tier.

Enterprise accounts also have access to our newest feature; branded quizzes. Branding allows users to choose a color, logo and theme to be displayed when taking their quiz. This feature allows businesses to provide a seamless experience while still utilizing the powerful standard features of QuizBean.


Are My Quizzes Secure?

We’re frequently asked about the security and privacy features of QuizBean. We’d like to take some time to explain our practices and ideals here at QuizBean.

At QuizBean we’re deeply committed to keeping your data safe and secure, this includes registration/account information, students, class lists and quizzes. QuizBean will never disclose your information to a third party. We make every effort to ensure your data is as protected from unauthorized access utilizing proven techniques.

All new quizzes are private by default and viewable by only the creator. Only after choosing your sharing option will the quizzes be available to your students. Who can view your quiz depends on the settings you have chosen while sharing it.


New Feature – YouTube Videos

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added a much-requested feature to QuizBean: the ability to post YouTube videos within a question.video

This feature will allow users to develop a whole new breed of quizzes covering topics and skills which were previously difficult to assess. We’re especially excited about the opportunities this new feature lends to teachers of foreign language and language comprehension skills.

Videos can be added to new or previously created quizzes. To add a video, click the “Add Video” button while creating a new question. Then simply paste the YouTube link and your video preview will appear. When a quiz is taken the video will appear after the question’s text.

If you’d like a taste of the new feature, try our Music Video Time Machine Quiz!


New Feature – Option to Turn Off Social Sharing (by popular demand!)

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently implemented one of our most-requested new features: the option to turn off (or on) the “social sharing” feature when sending a quiz. If you haven’t noticed this already, the next time you go to send a quiz you’ll see a snazzy new button:

Social Media Sharing Options

Now, we’re a huge fan of sharing quizzes, especially in our Quiz Bank. And we love it when people use social media to share the quizzes they’re able to make on Quizbean. At the same time, as our user base broadens to include a greater variety of users, including corporate trainers and teachers at all levels, we’ve received multiple requests for more choice around social sharing. One request even came in literally during testing of the new feature – it was fun to be able to reply “we’re working on it as I type this!”
We hope you’ll enjoy the increased choice with Quizbean and social media. If there are any other changes we can make to Quizbean that you’d like to see, please let us know!


7 Ways to Fundraise Your End-of-Year School Trip

7 Ways to Fundraise Your School Trip

If money grew on trees, everything would be easier, right? Sadly, it doesn’t. And you need money to go on fun, end-of-year school trips with your students. You know, the trips they look forward to since, like, first grade?

These days, it’s hard to find the money to make trips happen.

Budgets are tighter, parent’s wallets are closing, and you need to come up with the money to fill the gap – or the trip can’t happen.

When I was in school, we had a lot of trips – to big museums in Boston and even across the border to Ottawa and Quebec (those were awesome trips). And we had to fundraise to pay our own way. Plus, my parents had to chip in a little bit.

Fundraising for us was selling candy bars and wrapping paper. I could sell candy bars no problem – but the wrapping paper was another story. Who needs wrapping paper in March? Anyway, that’s what lead to this post:

How can you fundraise without selling cheap stuff?

In doing the research for this blog post, fundraising has come a long way since the days of wrapping paper. Here are 7 ways to come up with the money for your next school trip – and how to get started:

1. Community Dinner

These are big in small towns. For example, in our town, there’s a “Friday Night Food Affair” – it’s where the community comes together to enjoy a meal at the church. But, you could easily make it a fundraiser for your school trip. Get a couple cooks together and make a giant feast. Then, invite all the parents and rest of the community. All of sudden, your class has cash!

2. Silent Auction with Local Businesses

If you have a lot of small businesses in your town, get them to donate products and services to your auction. Then, all the proceeds go towards your trip – and you get to promote local businesses at the same time. Another variation on this is the discount card/book. Get 20-30 businesses together to make a coupon book the community can use to get discounts. Then sell the book for far less than the value inside. For example, a $20 book can have as much as $500 in savings. Oh, and don’t forget one for your family, too!

3. Sell Flowers

It is spring-time and that means flowers are starting to come into bloom (that is of course if it’s still snowing where you live). Find a local florist to cut you a break on buying a lot of flowers, increase the price, and sell your bouquets in the neighborhood door-to-door. Flowers brighten everyone’s day so you should have no problem selling out 🙂

4. A Real Bake Sale

I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love a serious sugar rush? Rock a bake-sale with cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pie, etc. And sell, sell, sell. Although, icing kind of sells itself. Hold your bakesale every Friday for a month and see what happens. Hopefully, you have some aspiring students or parents who want to bake and you’ll get some delicious treats. If you can’t find the bakers, buy-up some baked items from the grocery store and re-sell them (although, it’s waaaay cooler to bake your own stuff from scratch).

5. Dunk Tank With the Principal

While I’m sure everyone loves the principal, it’s payback time! Rent a dunk-tank from a local rental company (hopefully it’s a hot day, too) and get dunking. Have kids pay to try to dunk the principal. Or, you can get involved, too. I’m sure students would love to dunk their 7th grade history teacher. An alternative to the dunk-tank (and cheaper) is a pie-in-the-face fundraiser. All you need is some plates and whipped cream or CoolWhip.

6. Auction off Student Art

I love this idea. As I walked through the local Elementary school recently, there was tons of student art hanging from the walls. While I know it’s totally fridge-worthy for the parents, you could set aside some time for students to make something different to auction off. Of course it encourages the student’s parents to bid as high as possible on their kid’s art, it’s a fun way to recognize the accomplishment of your students and make some cash for you school trip.

7. Kickball Tournament

For many of you, end of the year trips means it’s finally getting warmer out. That means pick a Saturday and host a kickball tournament. It’ll be nostalgic for the parents and fun for the kids, too. Create teams and a bracket, grab some kick balls from the gym, and pitch away. Collect money for each team registered and give some away to the winning team, too. Play ball!

And that’s the list! While 7 is a small number, I was able to find these other resources you may be interested in:

What has your class done in the past that’s worked to raise enough money for your trip? Start the discussion off and let us know in the comments below.

Happy fundraising!


12 Reasons Your Students LOVE Recess (the last reason is the best)

Ok – spill it. Recess was the greatest part of grade school. Come on, we both know it. You got to play outside with your friends and not worry about that history quiz next period. Oh, and here’s 12 more reasons reasons is just plain awesome.

1. It doesn’t have to be spent inside

2. When you first get outside, it’s magical.

3. Gossip by the tire swing. For reallz.

4. Talking about what happened at the boy’s game last night.

5. And they force their friends not to cram last minute.

6. Oh, did I mention the see-saw. Yesss.

7. And they love those private conversations with their best friend (finally)

8. And the merry-go-round.

9. And hopscotch (well, not this kind)

10. The snow ball fights. Minus the ice balls.

11. Just to remind you, indoor recess is not fun (see #1)

12. And then you realize you have 2.5 months of recess. Um. Yes, please.

See? Ok. Now, share this on Facebook and Twitter.


24 Factors to Make Your College Decision Easier

Making the decision about where to go to college is daunting. There are lot of factors, people to listen to, and research to do. It’s a big decision – both mentally and financially.

Frankly, it could determine your success in life.

That’s why you can’t take the decision lightly. Having seen over 45 college campuses (yes, my Mom literally pulled out the atlas on family vacations and we saw them all – regardless if they had my major or not. Plus, I toured my brother’s and twin sister’s schools, too – crazy).

Some were well-respected. Others, not-so-much. Some in the south – others in the north. Some large – some small. And with college decision day looming, I thought I’d but together a big list of things to consider before you send your letter of acceptance.  Here we go:

24 Factors to Make Your College Decision Easier

1. Size of the school

Do you like big schools where you’re often just a number? Or, do you like small schools where you always see people you know walking to class and the professor knows your name? School size influences many factors in this list like depth of curriculum and majors offered, but it’s more of a personal choice here.

2. Quality of professors

You want to learn, right? Of course you do! Learning starts with the quality of teaching – your professors. While you’re bound to get a couple duds in college, most of your professors should stellar. They should challenge you – push you to succeed. Working hard pays off. Good professors know this.

3. Food (obviously)

How could food not be on this list? For four years, you’ll be eating the same food, so it better be good. Go to the dining hall on multiple occasions – not just accepted students day when the food gets upgraded. Talk to current students to see if dining services puts on special events like late-night breakfast (my favorite thing ever), and dinners for holidays – or even themed events. Remember, you’re eating this food 3-4 times a day. Make sure it’s good.

4. Faculty to student ratio

This relates to #1 and #2 on the list. The size of your school is directly related to the number of students per faculty member. A bigger school has a bigger ration, say 100 to 1. Whereas a small school is usually 15:1. This has it’s benefits. You can actually meet with the professors (instead of a TA) for office hours when you need extra help and the conversations you have in class will be more dynamic than a simple lecture with 200 students.

5. Guaranteed housing

Food on the table and roof over your head – those are two solid requirements throughout college. And housing, sometimes, isn’t guaranteed beyond your freshman year (typically with larger schools). This means you’ll have to navigate the rental market in a college town. That really means increased rents, six roommates, and broken heat. If this isn’t your thing, look for guaranteed housing all four years.

6. Prestige

Some colleges just have that “thing” about them – you know, like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton? You know the type of student who goes there. They just say “Oh, I have a degree from Harvard” like it’s the greatest school on the planet (and it is in some respects). But, if prestige is important to you go to a well-known school – a school where you don’t have explain where it is or what they’re known for.

7. Cost

While some may argue this should be #1 on the list, for some cost isn’t an issue. But if it is, think about a compromise. Maybe the expensive school is your #1 choice, but it’s ok to settle for a school you (or your parents) can afford. Just imagine: if you go to a school within your means, you won’t graduate with thousands of dollars in debt that’s near impossible to get out of. Yeah – you don’t want that.

8. Diversity

Many schools are working on this – and other schools are excelling beyond my wildest dreams. Do you want to interact with students from other countries – or even parts of the United States? Then head off to a school with a large population of international students.

9. Curriculum

How do you get kneed deep in your major? Do you have to take a whole bunch of core classes before you even get into the 101 of your major? Or, do you start with an upside-down curriculum where you take your major’s classes first, followed by your core in junior and senior year. The earlier you can get into your major means the earlier you can switch it (and yes, that could happen multiple times in 4 years).

10. Extra-curricular activities

What can you do on campus that isn’t class-related? Are there intramural sports? How about a campus newspaper or dance class? Schools with extracurricular help you get your mind of school and out of a textbook. Regardless of your choice, get involved. Make something happen on campus and take a leadership position. You’ll be glad you did when you start looking for a job after college.

11. Proximity to home

A lot of students want to move as far away as possible from their parents. Like, other side of the country far. I’ve seen friends do this and come immediately back after freshman year. They missed home. They missed friends and family. Oh, and don’t forget Mom’s home-cooking. That’s what I missed. How far will you be from home? Within 20 minutes – or maybe a weekend trip home. My advice is to make it a happy medium. Distance yourself enough so that you’ll be able to become your own person – do your thing. And not hit your parent’s couch every weekend.

12. Proximity to a big city

As a small-town Vermont kid, I dreamed of the “big city” so I put myself in-between two of them. It’s great to go to school in a small college town, but what about the city? Can you get there by train  or bus in a couple hours and spend a weekend with friends? Or, are you stuck in the middle of nowhere (Alfred University, I’m looking at you)?

13. Financial aid package

Related to total cost of college, it depends on how much financial aid you get. If you’re lucky, you may be able to afford a more expensive school with some debt. But, ultimately, the decision is up to you. I turned down a half scholarship because the school wasn’t right for me. Just proof it’s not all about the money.

14. Accreditation

Is your school accredited by a fancy organization? If it is, you’re heading to a good school. Most accreditations are listed on the school’s homepage or in the brochures you get when you enter admissions. Schools do a ton of work to keep those accreditations so you  can be sure they’ll have them for years to come.

15. Ability to transfer AP credits

Did you take some AP classes in high school? If so, make sure your credits transfer. AP credits are a great way to get a legup on your coursework, skip a few required classes, and maybe even graduate a little early. That means you can dominate the world even sooner now – cool, huh? This is also important for when/if you study abroad.

16. Studying abroad

How big is your school’s study abroad program? Can you travel to three countries or thirty? Studying abroad is one thing I regret not doing in college, but you have the chance. Hop the pond and study and Europe – or explore the beautiful Asia-Pacific. Study somewhere where you can travel to as many different countries as possible.

17. Condition of dorms

Are you able to live in a nice dorm or is it more like a prison cell? Check out all the dorms on campus – even the ones you won’t be living in for a few years. Where is laundry located? Is the furniture damaged? What about the size of the rooms? Will you be able to fit all of your clothes AND a mini fridge? If there’s no guaranteed housing, check out the rental market within a 5 mile radius.

18. Condition of gym/fitness facility

You have no excuse to not hit the gym while at college. Chances are, it’s beautiful – and some of the best equipment you’ve ever seen. Colleges want to have healthy students (after all, you’ve got work off those giant burritos, right?) so they provide the necessary resources. Some schools even have health coaches/counselors to help develop a plan for you to stay fit. Now, that’s awesome.

19.  Ability to take electives

Some students won’t have much flexibility outside of the classes required by their major to graduate. But, if you do, see if your school has a deep curriculum with some interesting college classes. I went to business school and never thought I’d take a class on African Pop Culture – yet, it was one of my favorite classes.

20. Parking & public transportation

Can you bring a car on campus? What about parking – is it a pain? Some schools don’t even let freshman students have cars. But, that means public transportation better be amazing. Check with your school to make sure it’s easy to get around after class and on the weekends.

21. Party school?

There’s no getting around it – students drink under-age. But, how much of an impact does partying have on the campus? Is it all people seem to do Thursday – Sunday? Do you want to be part of a rowdy crowd? Or would you rather head into down and grab a bite to eat or hey, maybe even go to bed early? The choice is yours, but be prepared for the consequences of an all-out party school.

22. Freshman orientation

I looked for a school with a great orientation. Why? Because I wanted to meet people right off the bat. And you know what? I’m still great friends with people I met that first day at college orientation. Great orientations set you up for a fantastic four years with a great group of friends.

23.  Freshman attrition rate

Do students actually come back after their first year? Schools keep track of this number (because they want to keep it as low as possible) so find out what it is – and why. What’s the reason people don’t like going to school there? And chances are it has nothing to do with the food….

24. Student feedback

If you have friends or family member’s kids who go/went to a few schools you’re looking into, ask them what it’s really like. Get the behind-the-scenes-not-said-on-the-admissions-tour look at the school. For example, I nixed schools of my list when I found out they were heavy party schools or schools where the food was horrible (yes, it was a deal-breaker).

And that’s not even the end of it. But, it’ll help you make a better decision. Did I miss anything? What would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.