The means of education today are expanding and diversifying. Education is no more limited to the four walls of a classroom. It has expanded to reach your fingertips as a result of advancing technology.
We are consuming information at a rate that humanity has not seen before, and it is because of the number of expansive sources that are feeding us with data having expanded magnanimously with globalization.
With changing times, many educational institutes are shifting to technology to make processes like Admissions, Exams, Fee Payment, etc. available online so that they are streamlined and can be tracked easily.
In this blog, I have covered all aspects of online exams and why there's an increase in the need for turning to technology for something we've all done before - give exams.
The Advent of Online Exams
The hustle-bustle of conventional exams that begins with extended discussions on exam paper creation, which questions to put, heavy research, organizing the exam, invigilation, and ends with the final checking of the papers of the exam which may or may not have to be conducted again depending on whether the students flunk or not. Organizing pen and paper examinations is a herculean task that few are able to excel.
Online examination is the future of education. With the advent of technology, the idea of pen & paper is slowly becoming redundant and will soon be taken over by a better, newer, and advanced system of online exam tests. The combination of reachability, scalability, and security makes online examination the most desirable.
But first, let’s understand what online exams.
What is an Online Exam?
Online examination use the internet to conduct assessments, in which the candidates are evaluated on a fully automated software. It supports an easy to use interface for not only the test takers but also the conductors. In addition, the ability to generate immediate results saves time.
Online examinations are also a big result of distance learning/online courses due to their evident success across the globe.
Pen and Paper Exams Vs Online Exams
Here is a simple comparison table of pen and paper exams against online exams:
|Pen and Paper Exams||Online Exams|
To take an online proctored test from a remote location, candidates need:
1. a suitable device (Desktop PC/Laptop/Tablet/Mobile)
2. a proper Internet connection
3. a functional webcam and a mic
Online examinations are increasingly gaining much popularity, and rightly so. More and more universities are realizing the ease of having online exams against the traditional pen and paper that comes with a lot of baggage.
Benefits of Using Online Exam Software
The big benefit of online examination is the saving of costs and time, both for the student and for the teacher. The following are the benefits of online assessment software for a university:
- Saves loads of paper wastage and trees. You never have to print an exam for your students and hand them out.
- Reduces the burden of manual test administration by automating the entire process. This saves you time, energy, and valuable resources that can be put to better use.
- Results of the assessments are delivered at the touch of a button, reducing the administrators’ workload significantly.
- Measurable and accurate insights are gleaned from a combination of smart algorithms, data science, and computing power that eliminate human error. This is more accurate than humanly-interpreted data.
- Detailed reports on various parameters required by the administrators can be downloaded instantly to analyze results.
- Because assessments can be taken up anytime and anywhere, it saves the time and logistical effort that pen and paper exams usually take.
- Take up less storage space and can be stored on a single server – eliminating the need for hard copies of files.
The following are the benefits of online assessment software for students:
- The assessments are standardized, hence, not giving in to the checking professor’s biases.
- Students can get immediate feedback on the results, thereby letting them know instantly about the outcome of the assessment.
- An online assessment software is integrated with a university’s website allowing candidates to take up assessments anytime and anywhere – day or night.
- Online tests are less time-consuming and nerve-wracking for students.
Disadvantages of Online Exams:
Not much can be said about the disadvantages of online exams. These platforms are great tools for assessing the students, for both university and students. However, the dynamics could change if online assessment software is not used properly. For example, if the right kinds of tests are not used and the right questions are not asked during the examination, the results will not accurately measure the ability of a student.
One drawback could be that the student must be computer literate or at least be able to use a computer to take an assessment. This would be the basic requirement for any candidate taking up an online assessment test.
Technological problems can play havoc. For example, an unreliable internet connection can hamper with taking the test. In such cases, having an online assessment software would involve some costs.
Apart from that, you have to keep in mind that the students will take the exam on their own device in their own time with nobody to check up on them, so you have to alter your questions accordingly. You can add a timer to each question so there is no time to search for the answers anywhere.
Different Online Exam Software providers currently in the market:
Talview’s online assessment platform is a multifaceted tool that supports various test formats (among other things) such as Essay Tests, Coding tests, Grammar tests, Typing, and Psychometric tests. The platform is highly configurable and supports multi-section workflow to screen candidates between several sections of the assessment.
Talview’s remote proctoring does more than 18 checks including background voice activity monitoring, browser policing, and face detection. It provides an integrity score for those applicants/students who successfully complete the assessment.
Examity is another provider of online proctored exams with the help of artificial intelligence. They help keep the setup, scheduling, and test-taking process simple while offering flexible scheduling options for online courses.
Examity offers live proctored examinations. However, their proctoring and auto cheat detection functions come with a price. Examity exams do not work well in low internet bandwidth which can cause a big problem for regular users.
This is a customizable test that measures intelligence and personality. Recruiters can build several hiring profiles – lists of desirable traits and problem-solving abilities and compare each applicant’s results against these profiles.
Click here to know about other competitors in the Online Exam Software market currently.
The Best Online Exam Software must meet the following requirements:
- It should be easy to deploy in a single server.
- It should handle more concurrent users to attend the test.
- It should have a good security mechanism to protect exams and questions.
- It should have a group option to organize tests/students.
- It should have automatic evaluation and reports.
- It should have tools to import bulk questions.
- It should have random question selection options.
It’s the age of computerized tests, automated scoring, technology-assisted assessment features, and automated essay scoring. Online assessment platforms will continue to become more intuitive as time goes by, and our dependability on them will persist. We do need and will continue to need online assessments more than ever and this is a necessary change for the changing trends.
The trick will be to choose the right platform for your requirements. Sometimes the most popular platform may not be the best for you. A platform with the required features to suit your needs is what matters – and as long as you remember that, you can continue assessing students satisfactorily via. an online examination platform.