Hosting High Stakes Exam Online.
Online examinations play a major role in all eLearning platforms. These tests gauge learner level of understanding of the lessons taught by the instructor. The exams evaluate each learner based on their understanding across the world, especially in higher learning levels like universities and colleges. Online examinations are normally used in various decision-making processes such as certification, students' promotion to the next level, grading of the learners for further education level, and assessing the level of skills and knowledge passed to students. Hosting high stakes exam online can greatly impact learner's present, and future life hence must be conducted carefully to ensure each learner gets what they deserve. The result promotes equality among learner's opening doors to better educational opportunities irrespective of their background. Hosting High stakes exam online can help boost educators' openness in issuing of certificates or grading.
Online examination is quite different from the physical exam administration where learners sit down with a pen and paper, and a supervisor monitors behavior in an examination room. For example, before the current Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, physical exams were very common, unlike today, where most learning institutions are hosting high stakes exams online. This measure taken by the government to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 has led to increased numbers of online students causing high stake online exams to be prominent. As a result, there's an increasing need to host high stakes exams online. In response, the US has developed online home assessments, for example, GRE (Graduate Record Examination), AP Advance Placement examination, and the TOEFL that is Test for English as a foreign language.
Consider the Following When Hosting High Stakes Exam Online
The following factors should be put into consideration during any online exam administration:
1.Access to electronic learning devices and quality network.
To get fair results across the board, ensure that all your learner's have digital devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and desktops, among others, which are compatible with the relevant exam software. And as a matter of fact, digitalization is still a challenge to m learners who are not able to access electronic devices with well-secured networks. The various devices should also be connected to a stable internet free from any disruption that most homes lack.
The exam format and content should be amended for the purpose of delivery and visualization of images, charts, geometric shapes, and passage reading. For the best performance and scores by online students, the test design should be closely related to the learners' skills. The online students should see the content taught by instructors in the test to gauge their understanding level. When hosting high stakes exam online, the learners should be familiar with their gadgets and online exam software to avoid confusion.
Remote proctoring deals with confidentiality of information, data sharing, and the use of technology to track the student's behavior. Therefore, online proctoring is a critical element of supervising exams and controlling learner's behaviors like exam cheating. Online software enables the tutor to access the examinee's webcam, check browser activities, use of microphone, and monitor keyboard and mouse behavior during the test to curb online exam malpractices. When hosting high stakes exam online, the supervisors monitors the entire process and reports any suspicion for further actions.
Remote proctoring has faced several legal issues. For example, in the Netherlands, it was reported that it violates the student's right to privacy during exam monitoring. However, a District Court in Amsterdam made a ruling that remote proctoring does not violate the rights of student privacy. It emphasized its importance during an online exam—and its compliance with the software standards in Europe.
3.Suitable infrastructure and availability of space.
First and foremost, the electronic devices are human-made, and therefore software malfunctions is not an exception. There should be ample time to test any exam software before engaging in an online test. If an issue arises, an immediate response should be taken, for example, making adjustments or a replacement. Guidelines to fix any trouble should also be made available to learners by relevant IT personnel as a precautionary measure. If you're hosting high stakes exam online, well-trained IT assistants should be on the lookout to provide any necessary assistance during the process.
4.Lay down principles.
Principles are a set of rules that ensures all learners have equal chances to demonstrate their level of understanding of various concepts. There should be enough resources to ensure every student gets to test their skill rather than considering online learning and exam a luxury meant for wealthy individuals. In case the parents and guardians are unable to purchase various devices required, the government should provide digital tools to its learning institutions. For instance, students with disabilities are recognized and given more time and even allowed to use assistive tools to ensure equal opportunities with the help of online proctoring. Remember, online high stakes exams are to be handled by all learners and should include universal designs to ensure equal rights.
5. Online exam piloting.
When hosting high stakes exam online, engage both the students and proctors on a pilot exercise. Because online exams are quite different from physical tests due to changes in various formats, the learner's needs to be assessed and necessary adjustments made. The format used in delivery may have a big impact as it may make some tasks easier and others harder as it changes the sizes and resolution of images. To get the best performance from your students, engage them in a pilot exercise to familiarize them with the format, and allow them to adjust to the changes.
The Significance of Online Examination during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected lives in many different ways. The lockdowns, shutting down of institutions, and the regulations established by governments to control the epidemic, such as social distancing and high hygiene standards, have affected our daily activities. As a result, our examinations have been impacted, and examination boards worldwide are looking for the most practical and affordable solution to the problem. Still, all examinations should be standardized for learners at all levels and from all backgrounds. Despite the crisis, we should strive to maintain exam validity, reliability, and fairness of exams.
This will ensure that the provided exam won't disadvantage a certain group of learners Hosting high stakes exam online is an economical alternative amid a crisis for many reasons. Plus, the ability to produce results immediately makes it the right pick for when we need instant solutions without much contact. In essence, the approach could suffice as the most effective method of testing our learners during this period for the following reasons.
1.Eliminate unnecessary processes.
Online examinations will help institutions overcome the challenge of setting up the exam environment to conduct physical tests. This is because the cost of setting a physical exam room amidst the current situations may be far much higher than ever before. You have to maintain the social distance one-meter rule and high hygiene standards, which will skyrocket the cost of hosting an exam.
You will also spend much time in planning, hosting, and generating the exam results. ZDNet's report predicts that The Monash University in Australia could save around AU$7 million (around USD$ 4.7 million) per year, by just shifting 80 percent of its examinations online. The university has been working to make the shift in the year.
2.Easy Access amid Social Distancing Rules.
Amidst the travel bans, suspension of gatherings, and lockdowns, it can be difficult to reach all candidates registered to sit for a certain exam. However, online assessment can see us through such problems because when you get online, you go beyond geographical boundaries. With any internet-ready device and a stable internet connection, all learners can sit comfortably for the exam while maintaining the government's lockdown regulations.
3.It is scalable.
Through the internet, one can easily manage lots of content and reach as many people as possible. That means you can examine as many candidates as you want in a go, making it convenient for large institutions.
4.A way to beat cheating.
Exam cheating and infidelity remains a bone of contention. Online proctoring will ensure that you control the exam environment, by putting all candidates under continuous surveillance, reducing the chances of cheating. It will eradicate malpractices and reduce the need to use many invigilators because the webcam observes the candidates.
Any student desires to show the best of what he or she has learned and meet the next objective, i.e., certification, the best grade, or proceeding to a higher level. Meanwhile, the proctor must follow best practices when hosting high stakes exam online to ensure little or no challenges.