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Hands on keyboard and screen with multiple choice options


Thinking of Replacing Scantron? 5 Things to Consider

It’s no secret that Scantron was the preferred way to grade multiple choice bubble sheets for decades. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t remember trying to stay within the boundaries of those tiny circles on bubble cards during exams. For educators, Scantron was typically the system they inherited rather than one they chose. Thankfully, times have changed.

Now that some Scantron machines are aging and in need of repair or replacement, administrators are left wondering if the hassle is worth it. One of the things driving this change is that alternatives, like Crowdmark, have far more to offer, without the headache of maintaining a custom machine. 

If you’re thinking of replacing Scantron or are just simply curious about what else is out there, this article provides more detail on the things you’ll want to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

Alternatives Offer So Much More

Let’s start off with the most compelling point. With a platform like Crowdmark, you get a rich set of capabilities including the following:

      • Ability to grade all types of questions and provide rich, detailed feedback faster

      • Option to include additional learning resources like links, graphics and pdfs to support additional learning

      • Access to robust analytics on student performance

      • Ability to easily make corrections to a rubric 

      • Collaborative and consistent grading with TAs and other members of the grading team

    And if you’re not ready for all of the features offered, you can just use the multiple-choice marking feature and use other features when you’re ready.

    students writing an exam

    No Per Exam Costs or Hidden Cost

    Scantron typically charges for each individual exam and requires specially printed Scantron paper. Crowdmark customers are paying for the course, not for the exam. So if you’re using Crowdmark for Calculus, you’re only paying for the number of students that are taking tests for the duration of the course. Not each test. Additionally, Crowdmark bubble sheets can be printed using the printers that the University already owns with standard printer paper at no extra cost.

    No Waiting in Line for Access to the Machine

    We’ve heard plenty of stories about how instructors are left waiting by the Scantron machine while their colleagues put their tests through. This can be both frustrating and a huge waste of time. Crowdmark’s bubble sheets can be scanned on any scanner, eliminating the bottleneck of using a dedicated machine and releasing new value from previously purchased hardware. With Crowdmark, tests are uploaded to the system and the grading team can get to work on them right away, without the administrative hassle. Instructors benefit by having more time to spend on their courses and students benefit by receiving their marks quicker.

     Integration with your LMS and Other Systems

    One of the other positives of switching to a modern solution for grading multiple-choice bubble sheets is that it integrates with your existing systems. Having robust workflows that not only support a student bubble sheet but also formative assessments, all while being able to provide rich instructor feedback designed for faster return of evaluated work is better for instructors, teaching assistants and students.  If you use Brightspace, Blackboard, Canvas or others, Crowdmark integrates with them so data isn’t lost in silos.

    You don’t have to go it alone, we can help

    Adopting new technology can sometimes be intimidating. Working with Crowdmark, you have complete access to training webinars, detailed documentation, live and online support and the comfort of knowing that we’re also working with thousands of your peers to provide the best-in-class technology for grading and assessment. 

    Ready to try a more modern marking solution? We’d love to talk. 

    Interested in learning more about Crowdmark? Get in touch for a free trial:

    About Crowdmark

    Crowdmark is the world’s premiere online grading and analytics platform, allowing educators to evaluate student assessments more effectively and securely than ever before. On average, educators experience up to a 75% productivity gain, providing students with prompt and formative feedback. This significantly enriches the learning and teaching experience for students and educators by transforming assessment into a dialogue for improvement.