Digitalization has proven to be more than just a passing trend because businesses and enterprises have adopted it to accelerate and modernize most of their functions. Likewise, it has become a crucial part of the education sector, wherein schools and colleges have incorporated it to enhance the teaching and learning processes.
Most importantly, it has disrupted the conventional educational approach and changed the way teachers evaluate students' performance. Previously, the norms dictated institutes conduct examinations twice or thrice a year, but now thanks to advanced tools like online exam software, teachers can conduct tests more frequently.
However, it is noteworthy that the ed-tech sector is evolving, and the pre-established examination techniques are becoming less relevant. So, it is essential to consider several critical aspects before deciding on any online exam tool, such as customization, increased reach, and convenience.
How Do Online Exams Work?
There are five essential steps that are required to conduct a successful online examination.
Step- 1 ( System Set up)
Examiners or admins work independently or work together to set up the examination system; at first, they upload questions to the online exam platform. During this stage, they also integrate the system with other advanced applications, such as LMS, and set up result configuration.
Step- 2 ( Test Link Sharing)
In the next step, the examiner takes bulk student data from the LMS and uploads it to the platform, selects specific time slots, and shares the test links with students of respective classes through email.
Step- 3 (Candidate Authentication)
Test takers or students appearing for the exam use the link to log in and initiate the test through three-step authentication. Also, the online exam software records the tests and enables remote proctoring through AI-based technology or remote invigilators.
Step- 4 ( Evaluation and Report Generation)
After completing the test, the test taker submits the test; the auto-evaluation mechanism makes it quick and easy to check the answers conveniently. Besides, the examiner can customize the results and share them in PDF or HTML formats.
Step- 5 (Analytics)
Analytics is a specialized feature that allows teachers and examiners to conduct a group-level analysis of the overall online examination; they can also customize the criteria of the analytics as per the requirement.
Top Features to Look For in an Online Exam Software
Provision to Create Multiple Questions
Long questions, essays, and MCQs are the only kind of questions found in traditional examinations; however, in online exams, teachers can take the liberty to utilize different questions. For example, multiple-choice questions, checkboxes, fill-in-the-blanks, etc.; also, advanced software has in-built features that support the addition of images, texts, video, complex equations, etc.
Additionally, it allows the teacher to create audio-video questions and create randomized problems; they can also create different sets of question papers for the same exam, enabling to increase the test’s uniqueness.
Comprehensive Examination System
The meaning of examination is set to change; NEP 2020 has indicated specific directives as per which exams will shift from content-based assessments to competency-based assessments. So, the goal will be to establish a formative and regular evaluation system that ultimately promotes students’ learning and development.
And that is where the online examination system will become absolutely essential to execute a smooth and systematic assessment. In fact, with the help of an appropriate tool, teachers can succeed in implementing tests that align with individual understanding levels.
In fact, it is a brilliant plan of action to move away from rote learning, as the new examination system will help to assess core concepts and knowledge. Moreover, it helps to assess students’ higher-order thinking and its application in real-life scenarios. So, naturally, the exam software can be used for the continuous improvement of the students.
Elaborate planning and collaborative effort by the institute’s admin department and the faculty are essential to facilitate proper examinations. For example, the number of question papers and answer sheets required would already have been tallied by the team, ensuring no hiccups during the actual date of the exam.
However, if any issue does occur, team members take appropriate action to solve it as soon as possible. Hence, when choosing an online exam software, one must consider and check the scalability of the software, enabling the institute to avoid potential issues down the line. Moreover, it is best to ensure that the system is scalable enough to handle multiple exams within the same day.
From an institute’s point of view, it becomes quite challenging to determine whether the test-taking candidates are who they claim to be during the online examination. However, that was a problem that institutes struggled with in the initial days of online tests; thankfully, the online exam platform has features that help determine candidate authentication.
For instance, previously, students used to miss their tests and ask an acquaintance or friend to take their tests instead. Meanwhile, in today’s scenario, multi-factor authentication with the help of OTP, Aadhar/biometric, or IP, followed by ID authentication, helps to curtail impersonation risks.
Safe Exam Browser
Taking tests from the comfort of home or remote locations has encouraged students to take help from the internet to find answers to questions. In effect, it affected the authenticity of the examination, so that is why additional exam security has been the need of the hour. Hence, the online exam software that comes with an anti-browsing activity feature is one of the most crucial features.
Also, the feature prevents students from opening any other website or tabs other than the official exam one, ensuring the exam’s authenticity.
Remote Monitoring of Exams
Instances of cheating during online exams have led to questioning the credibility of the medium; hence, efforts were made to ensure the integrity of the online assessments. Therefore, online exam software was incorporated with remote proctoring features, which enabled institutes to execute online live proctoring.
In live online proctoring, invigilators monitor students in real time throughout the examination and disable the test if they find any untoward activity. On the other hand, proctors can also review the tests later through recorded audio-visuals and screenshots of the test-taking candidates. During the review, they can red-flag suspicious activities by using annotations.
Furthermore, when the institutes integrate the exam software with ERP software, it enables teachers to share the progress report with parents. So, the system helps create stronger communication between students, parents, and teachers.
To Wrap it Up
Online examinations have become a primary assessment medium and will continue to grow significantly due to their diverse potential and benefits. However, robust online exam software is the only way to conduct seamless and secure online student assessments.