Checklist While Choosing the Right Online Assessment Tool

22 Nov 2022
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Imagine the amount of effort and hard work faculty puts in to prepare lesson plans and facilitate an effective teaching delivery. So, finally, when the moment of truth arrives in the form of examinations to test the student's accumulated knowledge, some succeed, and others fail miserably.

The question arises- whose fault is it? Parents or teachers inadvertently blame students for their poor performance; if you are a teacher, you would know the reality of the situation.

You must be aware that although students are responsible for their individual academic performance, they need additional support. Moreover, institutes need to allow necessary adjustments to encourage the use of innovative applications such as assessment tools.

Meanwhile, it is crucial to note that despite the dominance of paper-based examinations for the longest time, digitized tests have become the need of the hour. Hence, it is only fitting for institutes to conduct online examinations, which many of them have been doing for the past two to three years.

However, institutes have been encountering an inevitable problem; not until recent years have most institutes conducted online tests, so it is a bit of a challenge for them to ascertain the prerequisites of an online examination system. What are the essential features of the system? How can institutes ensure the exam’s integrity? Is it safe to store digital questionnaires online? How can examiners check the student activity during the examination?

These Are The Common Questions Whose Answers You Will Find In The Checklist While Choosing The Proper Assessment Tool

Assessment Tool

1. Session-based Exams

The standardized examination followed by institutes globally relied upon annual and monthly examinations, which sought to solely determine an individual’s subject knowledge. However, with the expansion of the syllabus and the ever-evolving curriculum, the backdated examination structure is insufficient or relevant. On the contrary, there is an urgent need for institutes to conduct tests on a weekly basis; if that were to occur through the paper-based method, it would take a lot of time.

Thankfully, you or your institute do not need to set aside extra time from your schedule to carry out the process manually. Besides, the online mechanism provides you the liberty to execute mandatory tasks such as preparing exam questions and setting dates and times easily.

Therefore, Look for a system that allows you to administer frequent tests and do not cause any technical hassles in developing multiple tests for several student batches.

Moreover, frequent exams are an integral part of continuous and comprehensive education (CCE); for instance, if students are aware of the upcoming tests every other week, they will be alert and focused on their studies. Simultaneously, they will learn to manage and dedicate time to particular subjects and work on improving their understanding levels.

2. Assorted Tools to Develop Varied Questions

Long and short questions, each with specific scores, are not the only type of questions teachers use any longer. Gradually, the teaching methodologies changed, inspiring them to use innovative instructional approaches that allowed them to implement varying kinds of questions in the classroom. Furthermore, strategic pedagogies and educational frameworks guide them to relate different learning levels with corresponding questions.

But Is it possible to integrate diverse questions during the online exams? Well, you most certainly can if you have an appropriate platform with online assessment tools that enables the creation of different questions. But, most importantly, you must ensure that the platform has an in-built auto-update feature that will help you update your assessment style. Besides, you would not want to get stuck with a tool that works fine presently but is not scalable enough to adopt future requirements.

3. Smart Analytics

Students receiving A+, A, B, C, and D relate to excellent, good, above average, satisfactory, and poor academic results respectively. Furthermore, it has been customary for them to be singularly judged on the basis of their report card marks; isn’t it absolutely baffling that a student’s whole future and sense of accomplishment have been demarcated by the marks they score on exams?

You must have noticed how flawed the traditional educational structure was, that emphasized test marks; hence, it is not surprising to see the prevalence of rote learning. Fortunately, There has been a shift in the mindset of institutes promoting the notion of overall student development. Hence, the faculty developed assessments keeping in mind to analyze students’ conceptual and skills level.

Therefore, you must select a suitable assessment tool with smart analytics, enabling teachers to identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, it will provide actionable insights that would help teachers work on strategic steps to help students attain competency.

4. Built-In Remote Proctor Facility

The lack of in-person invigilators during online examinations gives students a sense of freedom, causing them to cheat. Furthermore, many of them succeed in cheating throughout the entire exam without getting caught or reprimanded. So, the issue of exam integrity amidst such instances has become common knowledge, and the ed-tech industry has worked to cater to the institutes' needs.

Consequently, it will not be difficult for you to establish an online exam with remote proctor features; in fact, an advanced system comes with built-in proctoring features. For instance, your institute would be able to protect the integrity of the exam with the help of live streaming, audio/video recording, and screen sharing. Moreover, some system allows the examiner to check the live recording feed and raise alerts and warnings accordingly.

5. Personalized Examinations

Backdated educational practices barely allowed teachers to analyze students’ overall development, let alone ways to help them improve their performance. However, with online assessment tools, you will be able to identify the areas where the students are encountering major problems.

But is that it? Analyzing issues is just the ‘’tip of the iceberg’’ because the real obstacle lies in developing ways to mitigate their problems.

You have heard of personalized learning plans to establish an adaptable strategy to make it easier for students to interpret a material conveniently and learn at their pace. Similarly, faculty can use the built analytics in the tool to create personalized assessments depending on students understanding levels.

6. Compatibility

Most institutes have been using technological tools to boost their academic and institutional activities. So, while selecting a tool for any specific purpose, you must make sure whether it can be seamlessly integrated with the existing system. Otherwise, during an ongoing examination, it can cause glitches and technical difficulties, leading to an unforeseen disruption of the assessments.

Therefore, during the selection and trial run, you must ensure that the tool works in sync with the institute’s system.

7. Assured Security Features

The importance of online examination tools' proctoring features has already been mentioned above. But you must not miss out on the provision of additional security features of the software; the tool must have an appropriate mechanism that restricts browser activity and limits exam candidates to one tab.

As a result, examinees would not be able to access files from local data storage, external software, or open private tabs in the browser.

In Conclusion

Institutes facilitating an online examination system might have become common nowadays but selecting an accurate platform to execute the process is still troublesome. Hence, team members must create the checklist mentioned above to determine the most significant features and aspects.

Prashant Borkar Author:

Prashant Borkar,

Academic Consultant

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