According to a recent report and data, revenue in the online education sector will reach US$5.76bn in 2023, which is hardly surprising, given the increasing emphasis on digital learning. Besides, it existed as an alternative medium of education for many years but never received the same significance as the traditional academic system.
However, the last three years proved to be a game-changer for the education sector, as institutes had to adopt the online platform to conduct classes in response to the global outbreak of diseases. Furthermore, it gave a chance to incorporate technological solutions like online exam software to facilitate tests; it still continues to be one of the most in-demand tools that schools and colleges use to evaluate students’ performances.
But how does the software add value to the learning experience and help teachers improve the core methodologies? Let us find out.
Summative assessments conducted once or twice a year to check the overall subject knowledge are specific examinations conducted by the institute. In fact, it is a standardized form of test used by schools and colleges to evaluate students; however, it falls short of assessing their potential. Plus, it is noteworthy that academic accomplishment is not limited to scoring high marks in various subjects.
Although, for the longest time, scores and percentages in report cards have been given more priority, they did not serve to identify students’ potential. Moreover, the exam-centric approach promoted rote memorisation; hence, a demand for assessment that encourages students to focus on better learning habits is the need of the hour.
And that is where the formative assessment plays a crucial role; formative assessments are tests that teachers conduct throughout the course or programme. So, it naturally helps teachers to identify students facing issues and provide them with corrective measures to improve their learning. At the same time, students can use the tool's self-assessment features and take time-regulated mock tests to determine their progress.
One of the first things that comes to mind when someone says a conventional classroom setting is a blackboard, long lectures and students writing while teachers dictating. All are significant signs of passive learning that provide little to no chance of assessing student comprehension. On the contrary, when teachers implement multiple activities, it elevates the classroom environment, propelling students to take an interest in their learning.
Therefore, NEP 2020 emphasizes strategic pedagogy for active student participation; for instance, it has suggested arts-integrated and sports-integrated education and story-telling-based pedagogy. And an online examination system can help teachers implement effective online class activities as part of this unique pedagogy by engaging students in online discussions, project presentations and debates, etc.
Months go by, and students wait in anticipation to check how they have performed on the tests; likewise, teachers must check exam answer sheets individually to determine how each student has done on the test. As a result, it takes time and effort to execute the post-examination formalities; however, with online exams, teachers don’t have to spend hours checking the answer sheets.
Thanks to the instant evaluation feature, teachers can check the answers with just a click of a mouse and prepare in-depth comments to deliver to students. Furthermore, the immediate feedback system enables them to provide learners with constructive criticism and provide timely guidance to improve their performances.
Moreover, teachers can also use the online polls mechanism, which is an interesting online platform that gives students a medium to express their issues. Also, students can use the platform to express their grievances anonymously; it helps teachers gauge student engagement and specific problems that need deliberate solutions.
How are skill enhancement and online exams related? The question is obvious when both are brought into the context of online assessments; the answer lies in the class activities such as group projects, assignments and case studies, which students must complete using various online tools and resources. Besides, they are a significant part of the curriculum, encouraging students to research and collaborate.
Furthermore, when they work on such varied research work, it enables them to hypothesise, inquire, measure, analyse, and evaluate all possible solutions to a given problem. As a result, they get the opportunity to master skills such as problem-solving ability, communication skills, analytical skills, etc.
Hence, it corresponds to contributing to their learning outcomes, helping them prepare for future challenges.
Easy accessibility to the internet has made it convenient for students to gain knowledge at their fingertips; hence the perception is that they do not put the required effort into preparing a project or class work. Therefore, challenging them with new and distinctive question types is an excellent way to regulate education quality.
Apart from including the usual MCQ, fill-in-the-blanks, and true and false questions, teachers can also incorporate essay questions. It will also require learners to think critically and formulate unique answers. So, naturally, there is no chance of cheating someone else’s answers and copying them; instead, they must take time to arrange their thoughts and provide subjective responses.
One of the most effective methods of checking students' ongoing progress is by conducting impromptu quizzes. For instance, before the start of the class, teachers can ask short questions relevant to the topic to assess their existing knowledge. Similarly, when the teacher finishes the explanation of the topic, they can implement a short quiz the next day.
Consequently, it helps them determine individual students' knowledge levels; quizzes are short question types that they can conduct during online and offline classes. Also, apart from the quick questions, it can also be integrated within fill-in-the-blanks, multiple choice questions, etc. In addition, it is an excellent method of checking how far the students have come along in terms of fulfilling the learning outcomes.
Online examinations have become a staple for assessing students nowadays in an online learning environment. It has ascended from an alternative test option to a standardised examination system, and effective online exam software is an appropriate tool that helps to facilitate student performance evaluations successfully.