A friend of mine suggested a while ago that someone needed to make a “Wufoo for tests”. It made enough sense to me: An incredibly easy test creation, distribution and marking tool.
Zoho Challenge is just that.
The design of the tool is a little awkward in places from a “get going fast” point of view, but it seems to be on the right track.
My primary concern is the model for creating a test, or a “Question paper” as they call it. When you create a new Question Paper, you are taken to a page which allows you to add questions. The hangup here however is that at first it seems that you are forced to only take questions from the “Question Bank”. A Question Bank is a smart way to hold on to users (they will build up their own bank and keep coming back to use it), but it needs to be easier to just start adding questions.
It really is pretty easy, as there is an “Add Question” button at the top of the page, but I think an approach more akin to Wufoo’s form desginer would go quite a bit further. That said, Zoho Challenge does leave a lot more possibility open to potential power users.
Zoho Challenge is set apart from the rest of the Zoho suite as a “utility”, but I think it may represent one of their most well-designed and deployable applications yet.
Testing software that I have seen can be cumbersome and difficult for the individual teacher. Zoho Challenge fits in to a market that is not at all averse to using web apps, can see the benefit of online solutions very clearly and is generally self-motiviated to adopt useful technologies when they are low cost and reliable.