The COVID-19 outbreak, the global pandemic was ravaging the country in 2020, has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which plunge us into isolation.
For which educational institutions were on halt, implementing digital teaching and learning on such an immense scale.
As the year passed by, there’s was mere change in the situation so those institutions who have adopted offline education got to close the shutters again.
With this in place, a question has come to the light across universities that whether online classes are ideal than offline. Whilst, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a statement indicating that colleges and universities must now consider offering online examination options as well as potentially discontinuing certain examinations.
In light of the current discussion, it was crucial to understand the history of COVID-19, what it stood for, and got to consider that making students sit for exams together was totally unsafe. However, examinations cannot be ignored as they play predominant role in students’ learning journey and assessing subject’s understanding.
Thence, it is quite evident that online examinations will continue for many years to come. Hopefully, as technology advances, it will provide a safer environment for students and teachers alike.
You’re probably wondering why we’ve told you all this…The truth is, may will talk about their digital learning journey taken place in their earlier university life in 2036.
If you’ve ever gone to a university in India, you’re no stranger to lengthy campus trials and tedious lectures, delayed assessments.
But how can universities work on graduating students in their course schedule or less find easy, non-destructive ways of assessing their student’s skills? They need better options other than paper tests which can take hours and disrupt everyday schedules. But what if that could change? What if there was a method in which a professor could issue an online exam to their students, and get back replies in real time as opposed to days later on paper? This is not only possible, but it’s convenient, non-destructive and affordable.
According to a recent survey, the online exam model promotes immediate feedback from instructors as well as faster grading from students.
Let’s now unveil the major benefits of online examination systems, which contribute a great share in enhancing educational continuity and empowering instructors and administrators conduct tests online easy way.
TIME, EFFORTS & LOGISTICAL SAVING
Online tests do not require patience, enormous amount of efforts and time like other traditional examinations, as they can be taken almost anywhere and at any time of day. Online exams are also provided on a more frequent basis than may be possible with in-person exams, allowing students to even schedule one-off tests throughout their academic careers or after just an overall review of the subject matter.
Even the question paper allocation and answer sheets collection becomes easy for teachers and admin. Any associated logistics are eliminated that are required to get students to exam hall and invigilators money is saved.
Moreover, due to auto-grading feature enabled in online examination scenario, your teachers or evaluation experts spend less time rather than hours in grading results.
There is no doubt that online examinations are environment-friendly as they have the potential to reduce millions of tons of paper waste and offer students more time to complete their assignments while conserving resources.
They lower production costs, creating greater scope for digital practice materials, enabling shorter time span to complete examination tasks, and fewer opportunities for cheating.
Unlike the pen & paper test pattern, all that is required in attending online exams are smart devices with internet connection enabled.
LESSENED FEE & EXPENSES
The cost of travelling can be the biggest challenge that students face when pursuing a higher education from a distant location. Although it is true that tuition fees at a top-notch institute of higher education usually run more than those at regular university, the cost of living in many states varies greatly. The actual amount that every student needs to pay varies greatly based upon the destination as well as the level of studies he/she wants to pursue.
Online exams offer students an opportunity to travel virtually anywhere in the world without worrying about transportation or accommodation expenses associated with travelling abroad and without having any need to stay in hostels along the way either.
Moreover, the lack of a physical presence during an online exam allows students to travel with ease wherever they want, even if they do not have their own vehicle.
SIMPLIFIED ASSESSMENT CYCLE
When being assessed, the student has to think about the process of taking a test. This assessment cycle in online exam procedure includes a student-driven reflection on what went well and what did not go well during an examination as they reflect on their performance.
Exam performance is monitored by all stakeholders with ease when using online exam platform. This is possible because of the comprehensive nature of summative assessment. In order for a student to be tested, there must be a minimum threshold of how many questions they must answer correctly and how long the section should last.
These are questions that the student cannot ‘game’ or manipulate. It also provides us with a way to monitor if a student has forgotten answers in time.
All performance insights information is arranged in a format that is useful for both stakeholders and students, giving clear and precise planning in order to make an assessment tool efficient and useful.
There is less of a need for repetitive questions that do not present new data to them or answers they have already known, This type of assessment allows for more creativity in terms of self-assessment thereby enhancing the learning experience.
Besides, online examinations make it easier for teachers by providing greater access to assessment data that is easy to analyze for immediate feedback on what their class needs as well as post-exam feedback on how they did in the test when taking an end-of-term exam.
LETS HAVE A LOOK AT THE DARKSIDE. YES IT HAS FEW CONS!!
Online examinations, while they may seem convenient and easy to take, actually have a variety of potential disadvantages that students should be aware of before taking the plunge. Here, we will list the most common concerns:
1. Inaccuracy – Online exams are far from perfect, as anyone can submit one at any time. If your exam is taken by someone who has malicious intent for example you may know very well about the topic but still receive a very low grade because you were tested by an individual with poor knowledge. This is why online testing is not recommended for all school subjects and that teachers should conduct regular tests in order to ensure validity and success in their courses.
2. Extraneous Communication – If a student makes an error in the format of their answer, there is a chance that the teacher may be able to read it. This can help the teacher to gauge not only if students are familiar with the material, but also to determine if they are willing and able to learn new material at home.
Because all questions are assigned by computer, instructors will have no way of knowing if a student has worked diligently on previous problems but did not finish the current assignment within 30 minutes, or finished it hurriedly to get his/her homework done early. Therefore, instructors must carefully monitor how fast or slowly their students are answering each problem.
3. Lack of Motivation – It is a fact that students feel more motivated when they know the exam will be given in a couple of days, rather than by an automated system that may release questions at any time. While this may sound like a small thing, it can have great impact on students’ ability to study. A recent study by an educational expert and others shows that students who complain about their homework load may be more likely to pass exams and thus have higher chances of graduating compared to those who go through their assignments with no complaints.
4. Poor Quality – While online exams are less likely to produce incorrect grades than in-person exams, they cannot match the quality and detail provided by traditional classroom tests. Online exams offer a variety of proposed solutions to a single question.
This may seem like an advantage, however, it can negatively impact a student’s ability to study, as the teacher will not be able to provide in-depth feedback on each possible solution. The student, for example, will not be able to ask their instructor about how or why a particular answer is correct and why another may not be.
5. Difficulties with Collaboration – Online classrooms are not conducive to classroom collaboration. If one part of the class is stuck on a problem for example it is difficult for the teacher/tutor and students alike to know whether or not every student has received help and understands the material.
In order to provide the best service, tutors/teachers should:
a. Prioritize work issues, be specific about what information each student needs in order to succeed, and give detailed feedback regarding a student’s understanding of the subject
b. Help students who are struggling by providing in-depth explanations or showing them hands-on practice examples or even showing them the questions online; however, if a student does not understand these examples it is better to have him/her come to their class instead of wasting time on tutoring sessions
c. Create simulations where students can practice hands-on examples of problem solving
6. Over-reliance on Technology – Online classrooms are dependent on computers and internet accessibility. This is often a problem for schools in rural areas or poorer communities, as they lack the technology to offer online classrooms without interruption.
Online classroom questions may be multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the blank, source identification questions or any other variation of an ‘essay’ question. With multiple choice questions, students can always eliminate one or more of the incorrect answers and try to guess the correct answer from the remaining options, which can be tedious and easy to mess up. There is also a greater chance of cheating when using multiple choice question formats because if a student wants to put in false information for one of the multiple answer choices he/she can just leave out the correct answer, which then gives that student an unfair advantage over those students who are legitimately trying to figure out what their teacher wants them to know. For this reason and others, many teachers still prefer having traditional paper and pencil tests to online tests.
Students in online classrooms are often given assignments that are due very soon after they have been assigned. This can be stressful for students because they will know that if they do not finish the assignment within a short amount of time they will risk getting a bad grade and being behind the other students who had completed their assignment on time.
In face-to-face classrooms, students can ask questions whenever they need to, and teachers are more likely to answer them if it is possible.
Test taking has come a long way from pencil-and-paper exams and long days sitting in classrooms listening to lectures. With online examinations, learning doesn’t have to be confined by time or location. You can take an exam at home with your family watching TV on the couch next to you, or before breakfast while drinking coffee on your commute.
Online examinations also require less time from the professor and can easily be graded with minimal delays. Online examinations also allow teachers to provide new courses and lessons for students in real time, thereby increasing interest in a subject by helping ensure that students have read up on course material.
They can also improve the quality of education as it allows students to access a greater knowledge of facts which they can review anytime and anywhere, allowing instructors to make corrections much more effectively.
Online examinations can greatly benefit the economy by increasing productivity and decreasing costs in comparison to paper-based exams. Furthermore, also allow for test proctoring services which allow someone else to grade your exams for you. You could spend lakhs for a facility for one exam, but your online exam could be graded by a proctor.
Switch to digital examinations as they allow your students to take multiple exams at once in which they only need access to one computer rather than needing two computers or several days’ worth of time available.
And finally, the convenience of online examinations has allowed for international testing, and in fact it is estimated that by 2025 over 70% of all student testing will be conducted digitally.
Embrace the transformation to improve the quality of education and allow your students to access a greater knowledge of facts which they can review anytime and anywhere, allowing instructors to make corrections much more effectively.
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