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The advent of technology has steadily digitized all services and offerings, taking them to the online platform, and education has been no exception. With the ubiquitous high-speed internet and laptops, the pervasiveness of technology has enabled a seamless transition to the online ecosystem.
Universities, schools and various educational institutions have progressed and adapted to Learning Management Systems (LMSs), where software application tracks, reports, administers and documents materials shared with the students. This teaching and evaluation system facilitates a balanced approach toward imparting knowledge and an easy grading of the candidates.
The objective of online exams is to ensure that assessment givers can undertake the paradigm shift from offline to online processes. The online industry is growing rapidly, and factors such as convenience, scalability, increased reach, and customization are shaping its adoption. Established evaluation techniques are now nearing saturation and would soon become obsolete. In the following section, we would discuss the extent of the spread of online exams in the education sector.
The education sector has steadily realized the need to shift to the online ecosystem. The success stories of renowned institutions such as the Indian School of Business and Amity University that have already adopted the online examination tests underline the importance and value of online examinations.
A shift from offline to online is needed to mitigate the stress and strain associated with pen-and-paper exams. The rise in online examination tests is a one-time solution to all your problems, especially when COVID-19 has disrupted the learning and examination continuity.
Online examination, also known as e-examination, enables examiners to conduct exams using the internet or a company-wide intranet for remote candidates. Most online exams include answer processing modules, allowing evaluators to issue results moments after the candidates complete the test. This fully-automated system evaluates the examinees thoroughly and presents the results in considerably lesser time.
In online exams, candidates must answer the questions in a pre-decided time-frame. The test window collapses once the exam is over, and institutes get real-time reports. Evaluators assess the answers and grade accordingly. For long-answer type questions where results are not automated, evaluators assess the answers and grade accordingly. The result of online exams is then conveyed to the candidates either by email or the website.
Online exams help overcome the challenge of setting up physical test centers, minimizing resource requirements – time, cost of setting up, and the need for human proctors – speeding up the examination process. In universities, online exams accelerate the entire admission process, where applications can be screened with minimal resources. The idea of conducting semester examinations and various assessments online lends ease and seamlessness to the entire process.
Online exams have broken geographical barriers and enabled a wider reach and participation. Global assessment solutions train universities and education sectors, enabling them to easily conduct assessments. With only an internet connection and devices, the ability to conduct tests lend incredible accessibility and reach to online exams.
Online exams can cater to a broad audience and easily manage vast content. Considering this feature, educational institutions facing a paucity of time would find it extremely convenient to conduct examinations with the least bandwidth wastage. Merely a computer with an active connection and a webcam to take tests makes this possible.
Online exams range from MCQs, fill in the blanks, checkboxes to short answers, long answers ( that need to be evaluated by the teacher separately), coding simulators, case studies, etc. Online examination platforms support a host of knowledge and application-based questions, enabling examiners to prepare a questionnaire with multiple question types.
Advanced online examination test platforms have an exhaustive library of competencies and sub-competencies, carefully mapped to relevant questions. For ease of use, examiners can choose the relevant skills they wish to test via the exam to frame the questionnaire. This saves examiners’ time and effort.
The automated reports do away with manual correction and save notable working hours. A report is a comprehensive approach to a candidate’s performance, with a question-wise and section-wise summary of the attempt, time-taken and the difficulty level. Detailed reports are also useful for students seeking career guidance. With the reports, they better understand their competencies.
Online exams work in the following manner:
Step 1: The testing environment is set up, and the question sets are uploaded to the environment by the test conductors. LMS integration occurs at this stage, and the results are configured.
Step 2: Bulk candidate data is uploaded onto the platform, time slots are selected, and the test-takers are sent the test link and follow up emails.
Step 3: The test-takers use the link to login and attempt the test via three-step authentication. The tests are usually recorded and can be proctored for high-stakes examinations via AI-based or human proctors.
Step 4: Once the user submits the test, it is auto-evaluated for a real-time report generation. The results can be customized and shared in PDF or HTML formats.
Step 5: An in-depth analysis of the overall online examination test can be done in the form of group-level analysis and can be customized as needed.
The first step is to find an online examination test software that best suits your needs. You can explore different options available on the market.
Here’s a brief on the features of an online examination test software:
Online exams are monitored via proctoring technology that can be classified into three categories:
A live proctor invigilates test-taking candidates on an online platform for the test’s duration. A proctor can immediately disable the test if a candidate cheats on the exam.
Candidates’ audio-visuals and screen-sharing feeds are recorded throughout the test. Proctors review the recorded test, playback, fast-forward, and red flag suspicious activities using annotations.
The examinees’ audio-visuals and screen sharing feeds are also recorded during the test. A system monitors the feeds using advanced audio-video analytics to detect suspicious activities.
Online examination tests are unquestionably turning into a medium of assessing candidates’ knowledge and aptitude. They provide flexibility to educational institutes to create, manage and evaluate examinees effortlessly. With quick assessment and real-time report generation, results can be declared immediately after the students have completed the test. Online examination tests have revolutionized the education industry by automating manual, tedious and cumbersome processes.
An examination assesses candidates’ subject knowledge and understanding. The one taking the exam is called a candidate or examinee. The person who evaluates the performance of candidates is called an examiner. Exams are either available as an on-screen test, a written test or a practical test. Activities that come within the purview of practical tests are driving, speaking other languages, conducting science experiments and playing musical instruments, and more. On-screen tests refer to the tests taken on a computer. A candidate is successful if they clear the exams, and unsuccessful if they fail to clear them. There are also provisions for students to reappear in exams if they were unsuccessful in the first attempt. Those clearing the exam may be accorded with a certificate or diploma
Educational institutions install an online proctoring software that tracks candidates’ test activity using their computer screens in an online exam. It utilizes the webcams to record every detail and harnesses AI to analyze their activities. The online proctoring software data is used to validate the examinee’s identity and maintain the testing environment’s integrity. Remote proctoring ensures a controlled environment, where the candidates are under continual surveillance, reducing their ability to cheat. Online proctored examination solves two purposes: eradicates malpractices and reduces the need for many invigilators. The webcam monitors the candidates continually, behavioral alerts notify the proctor of suspicious activities, web browsing tolerance prevents them from switching screens, and a recorded video of the examination is saved for future reference.
You can do an online exam by clicking on the test link sent by your university. You can select a time slot as per your availability, given an option. You must keep your ID card ready for authentication before beginning the test. Once your registration is approved, you can take your online exam. The minimum upload speed required for:
Webcam proctored test: 512 kbps
Non-webcam test: 256 kbps
You can find the Internet speed on the following sites:
You can write an online exam using an online examination test platform that allows you to seamlessly take your exam. You must follow the instructions such as clicking your image, verifying it against an ID and OTP before beginning the test. The online exam occurs in a secure environment. Therefore, you must close all the background websites or applications and enable your webcam for proctoring. Please contact the support team for issues during the online exam.
Mercer | Mettl’s online examination test platform helps conduct high-stakes assessments on its secure examination platform, preloaded with online proctoring features. The tool enables end-users to manage the end-to-end online assessment process. From online registration, test creation to center management, and real-time reporting, the entire process is centered on assisting clients in conducting assessments with the utmost ease.
Eliminate any impersonation risk using multi-factor authentication using OTP, Aadhar/biometric or IP, followed by the ID authentication. It also involves facial recognition by taking the candidates’ pictures and ID proof to avoid impersonation.
It prevents candidates from accessing the internet. Once enabled, this feature detects and ends the test for the examinees who browse away from the test window and open multiple tabs on the browser.
It enables monitoring of candidates’ behavior and actions for suspicious activities. With cheating prediction abilities as high as 95%, our proctoring technologies combine the latest advances in AI-based and remote live proctoring to eliminate the risk of cheating.
Originally published March 26 2020, Updated December 10 2020