Computer-Based Test - Role of CBT in Remote Learning and Online Education

18 , Oct 2023

The entire prospect of education loses relevance until and unless it makes a distinctive contribution to students’ overall development. Unfortunately, the education system has been suffering due to outdated methodologies and ineffective evaluation systems.

However, institutes strive to make landmark changes and implement strategic plans of action, including the computer-based test (CBT), helping to enhance the assessment mechanisms. In fact, it is an effective technique to determine a student’s weaknesses and strengths. But how does it impact remote learning and online education? Let’s find out:

What Should You Know about CBT?

As the name suggests, a computer or desktop is essential in CBT to take and administer the test, which takes place in a client-server environment. Besides, one of the most critical aspects of the tests lies in the ease of functionality; institutes can conveniently develop different kinds of remote exams.

Hence, it is a great substitute for paper-and-pen tests and an appropriate subsection of the online examination system. However, people often use the terms online exams and CBT interchangeably, but there is a slight distinction between the two.

The online examination system includes all the exams that institutes conduct with the help of the Internet; computer-based tests are tests that students take without relying on the Internet. Therefore, CBT could be a standalone test that may or may not be connected to a server on the internet/intranet.

Role of Computer-Based Tests in Remote Learning and Online Education

Computer-Based Tests

1. Convenient Testing Environment

Conventional examinations have certain pre-determined procedures per which students must go to a particular location(i.e. institute allocated exam location) to take the test. However, with CBT, there are no such compulsions; students can take the tests from the comfort of their homes or any other place.

Besides, students living at far distances and with physical disabilities often have difficulty making the journey. Therefore, CBT is a perfect solution for them; institutes can create exam timings and slots, allowing students to take the exams at their convenience.

Furthermore, it is perfect for individuals who are working professionals and pursuing high studies simultaneously. They often have issues adjusting their time with the exams, so with CBT, they can schedule their priorities accordingly.

2. Personalised Adaptive Testing

Examinations always have been linear; one common question paper, expecting all students to provide accurate and same responses. However, the output is always different; some students get good marks others obtain varying scores, indicating different knowledge levels.

Consequently, low-scoring students are at the receiving end of criticism; but a far more productive approach would be to determine the cause of their underperformance. And that is where the online assessment system proves to be a useful mechanism.

Teachers can use online or digital platforms to figure out the areas where students encounter problems; they can implement surveys or quick answer and question tests. Depending on the answers, they can deduce the test taker’s knowledge level and ability.

On the contrary, if they fail to provide accurate answers, you can take the next steps; you can use the online exam software to create personalised exams. You can design exams according to the knowledge level and enable them to understand specific areas of the subject.

Finally, if you see the student providing correct answers, suggestive of gradual progress, you can increase the level of difficulty in the testing patterns.

3. Continuous Evaluations

Is it possible to check the student’s regular progress? If the class has thirty to forty children, the teacher finds it challenging to go through individual homework and find their shortcomings.

Besides, the paper-and-pen method is a time-consuming process for which teachers need to set aside additional time to prepare appropriate exam questions. Therefore, summative examinations have been a sole priority for the longest time.

In contrast, NEP 2020 highlights a greater emphasis on formative exams, wherein teachers can conduct weekly and daily exams in the class. In addition, students can also take these tests remotely, allowing the teacher to assess their understanding levels.

Furthermore, the policy encourages the students’ skills enhancement, so teachers can use the online assessment system to assess their skills. As a result, the online platform allows teachers to conduct and track continuous student evaluations.

Competency-Based Assessments: What You Need to Know?

4. Greater Scalability

Although online or computer-based exams have risen in popularity and prominence recently, they have been used for many years. Meanwhile, employees have encountered technical issues during training sessions, the same as students taking part in online mock tests.

The problem is especially commonplace when institutes conduct large-scale examinations; test takers encounter many issues, including screen lagging, server issues, etc.

However, thanks to robust CBT exam software, students do not face any such technical issues and can take the test smoothly. On the other hand, institutes can facilitate large-scale exams without having to worry about technical difficulties.

In fact, some of the advanced software provides a chatbot, allowing students to send a message to the exam facilitator. The facilitator or the remote examiner takes the necessary steps to solve any issue.

5. Encourages Greater Thinking Skills

The sole objective of examinations has been to test students’ understanding of core subject material, so exams provide a chance to recall what they have been taught. But it is a reductive vision and approach because exams have various purposes.

For example, you can use the online examination system to create specific tests and question patterns that can examine a student’s personality. In addition, you can create gamified assessments wherein students must think out of the box to find a solution.

As a result, it will expand students’ imagination and problem-solving skills; they will make their own research and analyse various facts before coming to a conclusion.

6. Authentic Exams

The lack of in-person surveillance provided by institute-appointed invigilators is the most obvious part of online exams. Therefore, the integrity of such exams has always been brought into question.

Previously, online exams have been riddled with sneaky and creative ways of cheating; however, nowadays, the online proctoring system enables institutes to eliminate such malpractices.

Additionally, many other security features, including live streaming, have enabled institutes to conduct authentic exams.

Final Word,

Computer-based tests have become a vital part of the education system because they streamline the examination process. Furthermore, teachers can conduct hassle-free exams and obtain in-depth reports of student progress.

Posted By -
Poonam Nathani

Poonam Nathani,
Academic Consultant