The traditional examination process overtime has become quite strenuous, time consuming and out rightly difficult. This is because institutions have to go through the stress of choosing the perfect venue, hiring examiners and invigilators and also colossal amount of paper printing, which cost a whole lot of money. Employing technology as a means of overcoming these rigorous and long processes will go a long way in trimming the costs of conducting exams. This is exactly what any institution stands to gain with the use of an online examination platform instead of using the ancient and totally outdated pen and paper testing. Apart from cutting down logistic and administrative expenses, an online software can save you a whole lot of time as opposed to the traditional paper-based approach. Before jumping straight into using any online exam platform you have to be able to decide on the best platform for your institution because it is paramount to understand the implications a new platform will have on your institute’s process of operation, security effectiveness and overall examination process.
Traditional examination has already provided an insight into the correct examination processes, therefore it’s vital to be able to comprehend process changes as regard to online examination. Technology infrastructures are needed compared to traditional classrooms, so that each student can have a computer to themselves for the exam. Besides infrastructures, there should be steady power supply or backup to manage smooth examination process. The cost of setting up dedicated computers might not be an option for your organization. In such case you want to go for an online exam platform that allows candidates or learners to use their own devices. This is what is commonly referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the technology space.
It is necessary for every online examination platform to be secure and it should possess proper techniques for storing results and responses of every student along with proper timing management. The platform should be extremely established to avoid system override and it should also be able to handle scalability when hundreds of students concurrently appear for the exam. One of the best ways to make an online examination platform more secure is to have a combination of both physical surveillance and online monitoring. An online proctor or inspector works remotely to manage the exam software and monitor the candidates during the exam or test for any suspecting behavior. Their jobs include blocking unauthorized access by candidates to other applications or files on their devices other than the exam system. So you want to go for an online examination platform that come with security features like firewall, locked down browsers, web cam, and others, that make online monitoring easy.
The online exam system generally sets up each student with a unique set of objective questions to answer within a limited time. This is usually known as multiple choice questions and it helps prevent copying of answers by students, since the question sequence of each student is different and the exam pattern the same. The time allocated for this kind of exams is usually short.
This online exam system should provide automatic authentication with an easy web camera photograph which is captured by the computer camera. This camera is accompanied with a biometric authentication system which will help authenticate the identity of every student sitting for the exam in addition to the user ID and password created for the candidate. This feature totally obliterates the need for a supervisor and helps to prevent identity mix-up, which is often responsible for cheating.
When analyzing the total cost of an online examination platform, one has to put the long and short term aspects into consideration. For institutes with recent information and technology infrastructure there’s is less work needed, only the installation of the examination software is needed. However if your institute lacks any proper information and technology infrastructure, there will be an initial investment into the purchase of computer systems. As earlier indicated, this is not always necessary. You can also operate an online exam solution on BYOD. It all depends on the software you are using.
Online examination platforms make examinations easier and more convenient when compared to pen and paper based examinations, that leaves students unable to change already answered questions, unless having to end up with a rough or messy looking answer booklet. This process also cuts down on the stress of marking, because examiners are not needed to grade student’s performances. The computer does that easily. Another spectacular feature of this platform is that responses can be scored instantaneously. This gives students the privilege to see their performance right after they finish their exam or when their time elapses, unlike the paper and pen which takes a whole lot of time.
This platform provides institutes with much more info such as candidate responses, name and identification, start time, time, date, work station identification as well as in what sequence the questions were answered. This is unlike paper based exams which provide only basic info like name, item number, answers and dates. Also the effectiveness and efficiency of this platform cannot be under stated. The grading of the examination is properly done and the problem of missing results have been effectively tackled. Bottom Line Online examination platform in a world of technological advancements is obviously the way to go. This is because it provides effective, secure and convenient examination processes for institutions and education. Indeed this platform has been able to provide solutions for the many challenges associated with the old fashioned paper-based exams. Although the online exam system is still far from “perfect”, it still remains a far better option to replace the paper based system.