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Everything to Learn About Online Exams as It Becomes the New Normal.

Can Online Examination be Our Safe Haven In times Of Crisis?

If online examination becomes the new normal amid coronavirus, it is important to familiarize yourself with everything about it!

Taking exams from home might be our way out as the corona virus pandemic threatens to sweep the world.

Online examination involves conducting tests through the internet. It provides an easy-to-use interface for both the examiners and the students taking the exam.

Shifting to online testing 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.

Institutions worldwide have embraced online tests and the results have been remarkable so far.

The Imperial College London conducted a successful online test recently, examining 280 final-year medical students. Norway is also considering the shift and institutions like the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen, and the University of Agder have also started using online examination.

What Happens during an Online examination?

Online examination is used in institutions, colleges, and organizations to test learners and trainees remotely, or over the internet.

The institution issuing the examination is responsible for creating the question or tasks to be worked on.

Furthermore, it must host the examination safely and securely to avoid giving some candidates an advantage over the others.

In an online exam, the various users of the platform can be grouped into three categories: the exam supervisors, the exam organizers, and the students taking the test.

These refer to those who manage the systems, those who prepare test questions, and the ones are to sit for the exam respectively.

An institution looking to use this platform must address dozens of challenges to offer a working platform.

Learners are then given exam IDs which they can use to log in to the exam platform and take the exam. The tests are then automatically monitored and supervised, or even proctored for highly valued examinations.

Lastly, exam evaluation which occurs almost immediately or after the students have submitted their work.

Tests can be evaluated by the system and results issued immediately, or by the exam organizers depending on the questions and the capabilities of the exam platform. The results are then sent back to the learners.

This system of testing is considered effective in terms of reducing exam hosting and invigilation workload. And after an assessment, it helps the instructor do all the grading and result release.

Without online exam software, it wouldn’t be possible to do a course, take an examination online, and get graded.

The web-based examination system, otherwise known as assessment tools, offers numerous advantages to the learners as well as the examiners.

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 pandemic, such as social distancing and high hygiene standards have affected our daily activities.

As a result, our examinations have been impacted, and examination boards all over the world are looking for the most practical and affordable solution to the problem.

Still, all examinations should be standardized for learners in 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.

Shifting to online testing 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. It will reduce the procedures you’re used to.

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 obviously skyrocket the cost of hosting an exam. You will also spend much time in both planning, conducting the exams, 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 course of the year.

Online assessment will save you all this time and money—students can simply to log in to a test platform and take their exam.

It will also make the examination much more economical, and right now all we need is to minimize our expenditure.

2. It is easily accessible by everyone.

Amidst the travel bans, suspension of gatherings, and lockdowns, it can be a difficult task to reach all candidates registered to sit for a certain exam. Online assessment, however, 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 lockdown regulations given by the government.

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, which makes it convenient for large institutions.

4. It will combat exam cheating.

Exam cheating and infidelity has been a thorn in the flesh of the education sector for quite some time.

“How can I ensure my learners don’t cheat?” has been the question of every examiner whenever it is exam time. Behold, here comes the solution; online proctoring for online examinations.

Online proctoring will ensure that you control the exam environment, by putting all candidates under continuous surveillance, hence reducing the chances of cheating.

It will eradicate malpractices and reduce the need to use many invigilators, because the webcam observes the candidates at all times.

The webcam notifies the proctor in case of any suspicious activity, and hinders the student from switching screens during the exam period.

It also records videos of the activities that took place during the test and exam grading. These can serve as evidence in case of assessment-related conflict or disagreement. In case you need further assistance in controlling malpractices, you can try the Exam Safe Browser.

It ensures that the person taking the exam can only see one screen, which is the questions they need to answer.

Another advantage to this browser is that it disables options such as copy and paste, shortcuts, cut and paste, and open new page.

Students are also less anxious about an online exam as compared pen and paper exam. This, according to the University of Technology in Sidney, is because the students can do various practice tests online before the examination. Anxious learners are also more likely to cheat due to the fear of failure.

5. A more efficient exam process.

According to Cliff Ashford, an education specialist, marking essay exams is highly ineffective and expensive.

That’s because it entails complex manual data entry and fails to leverage the convenience of tracking analytics. In other words, physical exams which use pen and paper is highly exposed to human error.

Online assessment will reduce the workload that has to be done by examiners because activities such as exam grading and exam analysis will be done online. According to the settings of the platform, some questions can also be marked by the system and grades generated immediately.

Such automation will help increase the efficiency of the exam systems and the reliability of the results obtained thereafter.

It will also help to deliver the results at the right time and help in the storage of the results, which can be easily accessible to anyone at any time, be it an employer or an admission team desiring to admit the learner to a higher education.

Conclusion

Examining students online is proving to be the safe haven for assessment amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is because of its flexibility from exam composure, booking, management and evaluation to generating the results of the test.

After all, there has been a growing urge to shift from pen and paper exams to online exams. And recent implementations by institutions have ended in success stories. That’s proof that online tests are the best choice when it comes to organizing tests during this crisis and in the future.

With the advancement in technology, the idea of pen and paper is gradually fading away and in the near future it will be a thing of the past. This is happening as people are embrace new technology in education, and use new tech to teach and test candidates.

Contributor: admin
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