One of the essential factors for ensuring test reliability is the length of an online exam. To evaluate a person’s skill or knowledge regarding a topic, exams need to be of a reasonable length. If a test maker creates an exam with only five questions, most people would agree that it will not be enough to test an individual’s understanding and knowledge of the subject matter. However, this doesn’t mean that instructors should create 100-question long exams based on only a single or few topics. The length should depend on the total number of topics being assessed in an online exam, and how many aspects are involved with each subject matter.
An instructor or test administrator can create several types of questions through an online examination software, including MCQs, true/false, short answers, diagram-based, and a few others. Each type helps instructors to evaluate a student’s knowledge and skills from a different angle. Depending on what they want to evaluate through online assessment, they need to carefully pick the right type of questions so that they don’t end up accidently measuring something else.
For example, if an instructor wants to assess a student’s writing skills and their ability to formulate arguments, essay type questions are the best choice. Similarly, if they want to test a broad range of higher-order thinking skills, multiple choice questions are the way to go. Therefore, if you want to ensure reliability of your online test, make sure you select the relevant question types when making an exam through online testing software.
One great way to dramatically improve an online test’s reliability is to use question banks. This feature is available in a majority of the online testing software, which allows you to create several questions for a particular test, and save them in a bank. The online exam software picks random questions from the question bank and creates an exam paper for the test takers. This eliminates biasness and enables instructors to create multiple versions of the same exam, which significantly reduces the chances of cheating.
Using question banks gives a better opportunity to evaluate the fundamental understanding of a subject matter. Through the random assortment of questions, the results are much more accurate, and also make it easy to compare the individual scores.