Over the years, the old manual procedure of conducting exams with paper and pen is gradually being replaced by online examination systems. No longer do students have to jostle between exam venues or travel long distances to sit for a test or exam. With complete automation provided by systems, much time can be saved while avoiding some of the costs usually associated with traditional paper-based exams. In many cases, results are instantly generated after the exam and candidates can view information with regards to their performance. Also, as opposed to the old fashioned method where cheating is a major concern, a major highlight of an online exam system is that it provides a very high level of transparency. Since it is almost impossible for exam questions to be compromised, the chances of cheating by learners or candidates is usually very minimal or even non-existence as observed in some sophisticated solutions. As the popularity of online exam platforms continue to grow, more institutions and companies are seeing it as a viable means of accessing learners and candidates more efficiently. But in order to make the switch from the old fashioned approach to the tech solution, it’s always a good idea to understand how the system really works.
As indicated in the name, an online examinations system is a fully automated platform that uses the internet to conduct assessments. It’s commonly supported on a full-screen computer or mobile interface that is use and navigate by both the exam candidates and organizers. These exams can be performed either through an internet or intranet. In the latter, the exam candidates have to arraign at a designed center (usually within the organization) to sit for the exam. Most of the time, the result of the examination is made available immediately after the exam. This usually happens when the system is integrated with an answer processing module. This way, a lot of time is saved, which is something quite remarkable about using an online exam platform. Just like open book exams, online assessment allows participants to provide answers to the exam questions within a stipulated period of time. When the time elapses, the answers are automatically disabled and sent to the examiner or checked against an answer module integrated with the platform. In the latter, it is possible for candidates to see their results immediately after submission. However, if the answers are sent to the examiner for evaluation, which can either be done manually or through an automated process. Once the result has been processed, it can be sent to the candidate via email. To create your own online exam system, you have to choose one from the many options out there. Once you find a solution you are convenient with, you can start creating or uploading questions to the system after creating your account. Depending on the system you are using, you will have the chance to choose the type of exam questions you want, whether it’s going to be free text or multiple choice questions. Most online examination system come with question banks which allows you to create multiple choice questions which is usually very helpful when trying to minimize copying and cheating in the exam. Once you online exam system is up there, you can provide candidates with links to access the exam or test, so that after they sign up they can sit for the exam. Up till date, most organizations are using online examination systems to conduct their assessment, and most of the time results are issued online immediately after the exam or test.
There are three categories of people usually involved in an online assessment exam or test – the examiner, candidate and invigilator. The examiners or test conductors are those responsible for organizing the exam. They are the one that prepare the exam questions or tests using the online examination system or “builder”. The candidates are the students, learners or applicants who sit for the exam, while the invigilators are the ones who manage and monitor the system to prevent cheating and ensure compliance by candidates.
Like any other technology, online examination system has its benefits and limitations. Luckily the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The major advantage of online exam systems is that they make it possible for candidates to be able to take exams remotely. Also, as earlier indicated, any time can be set for online exams and tests and they do not incur some of the cost common with conducting traditional paper-based exams such as printing exam papers, renting exam centers or some administrative expenses. Since it’s possible for candidates to take these exams from various location, most of these expenses can be avoided. In fact, apart from the initial investment in establishing and maintaining an online examination system in a dedicated facility (which is not always the case), the cost of conducting online exams is almost nothing compared to its traditional counterpart? The biggest limitation of online exam testing is the fact that it uses the internet. Most of the time, these online tests need a very strong internet connection, which might not always be obtainable, especially when the assessment is done remotely. Not every geographical area or location can boost of a fast speed internet connection, at least not all the time. And this can be a very big challenge to students or learners. At this point, you should now be familiar with how an online exam system works, as the requirement, upside and challenge. If you any more questions, please do not hesitate to drop a message in the comment section.