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Talent Assessment | 10 Min Read

Online Assessment Platform: Conduct Secure Online Assessments

Introduction

Many schools and colleges worldwide are grappling with uncertainty this time around as the end of the academic year is underway.  The looming deadline for the fall semester is inevitable. But one question that comes across the mind of every student, teacher, and guardian is what about tests/assessments as closures of academic institutions are extended? When countries of the world are keen on adopting coping strategies to conduct examinations during the COVID-19 phase, finding ways to manage high-stake exams ( exams, entrance, and recruitment tests) has become even more critical. 

With most academic institutions off-bound attributable to the ongoing pandemic, tech-enabled online assessment tools are emerging as indispensable tools. Likewise, the corporate sector is reconsidering priorities and giving more preference to virtual interactions than in-person interviews. The disruption here actually boils down to the need for opting online assessment solutions to ensure process consistency and prompts everyone impacted by this crisis to rush to online assessments.

What Are Online Assessments?

In the simplest terms, an online assessment is a process of gauging the breadth and depth of a person’s knowledge, abilities, and inclinations. This test is conducted online via available web technologies.

An assessment may be administered with predefined objectives such as:

  • To evaluate the knowledge and understanding of a candidate
  • To increase the quality of the talent pool by filtering out incompetent applicants
  • To ensure that the selected candidate justifies the roles and competencies needed for the applied position
  • To understand the strengths and weaknesses of the examinee
  • To dig deep into the candidate’s psyche and identify the dominant personality traits
  • To provide career counseling insights that help in ascertaining a career development path

Would you prefer online assessments over traditional assessments?

Online assessments have extensive use in various sectors, such as education, government, and the private sector. The online assessment methodology is both fast and accurate as opposed to the traditional assessment methodology. The robust online assessment tools weed out any chances of malpractice, gives a fresh impetus to the hiring process, and ensures an excellent candidate experience. Online tests have a definite edge over pen-and-paper based assessments, especially in these times.

traditional_exam_online_exam

In case you want to know more about online assessments, you should read this blog: All You Need to Know About Online Assessments

Types of Online Assessments

Online assessment enables evaluators to delve deeper into these aspects of students’ learning:

  • Collaborative learning, interactiveness
  • Collective knowledge construction

Instructors will probably employ various assessment tools to determine the extent to which learners have progressed through the phases of learning. In a broad sense, there are two types of assessment:

formative_assessment

Formative Assessments (assessment for learning): are useful for keeping tabs on learners’ progress and getting insights essential for teachers in improving their teaching skills and students in enhancing their learning curve. Formative assessments aim to monitor student learning and provide instant feedback that is useful for both students and instructors.

More precisely, formative assessments:

  • enable learners to identify their strengths and areas of improvement
  • provide faculty with insights into the struggles of students to address such problems immediately

Such assessments are usually considered low stakes. Listed below are some examples of formative assessments:

  • students drawing a concept diagram in class  to express their knowledge and clarity of a topic
  • students submitting the zest of a lecture in small sentences
  • students intending to get early feedback by handing out a research proposal

Summative Assessments (assessment of learning): are useful for measuring student learning upon course completion by comparing it with a relevant benchmark. Summative assessments aim to determine how much a student learned at the conclusion of an instructional unit by evaluating his/her performance against some standard. Such assessments are generally high stakes. Some prominent examples of summative assessments are as follows:

  • a final project
  • a midterm exam
  • a test
  • a senior recital

Insights that are generated from summative assessments can be leveraged by faculty and students in using them as a ready reckoner to align their efforts and activities in the right direction.

Online Assessment Tools For Hiring

Online assessment tools have been scientifically designed to enable recruiters to assess domain-specific skills, such as cognitive ability, communication, etc. These tools come up with a plethora of features that accelerate the process of recruitment. Besides, organizations also utilize online assessment tools to ascertain if current employees’ skills are on par with industry standards. Moreover, the in-house teams’ crucial learning and development decisions are based on the results provided by online assessment tools. This way, the vital need for upskilling or reskilling the workforce is also addressed.

What Are Online Assessment Platforms?

Online assessment platforms consist of all the tools needed to deliver and administer the examination, generate comprehensive reports, and much more. Most online testing platforms can be easily integrated with online learning platforms and modern enterprise LMS solutions. Thus these online test platforms turn out to be aptly suited for users with varying needs. These needs include administering tests for skills assessment, pre-screening assessment, online certification, employee assessment, online training, and recruitment.

Why are institutions reconsidering priorities for conducting exams?

Let’s not forget that forging ahead despite the COVID-19 situation is the only way out for academic institutions. With the imperative need for conducting high-stakes assessments, test publishers will seek reliable and foolproof assessment solutions. That’s where online test platforms will come in handy for maintaining high-stakes exam integrity.  Even when the situation will completely normalize, and exam centers will reopen, social distancing measures will continue for a long time. Using an online assessment platform coupled with online proctoring service, test publishers, and certification bodies can maintain the sanctity of exams.

Should organizations use online testing software to address talent shortages?

Going through the routine of organizing recruitment drives, job fairs, and convincing board members of a company are possible scenarios that are not new to the hiring stakeholders. The constant challenge of maintaining a good headcount for unique business requirements, be it a new project, service offerings, or a new line of business, is evident. However, it is no secret that hiring experts have limited functional capacity when sifting through vast volumes of candidates, and the board members are aware of the perils. Several suggestions are usually proposed to improve the hiring process, such as contacting recruitment agencies, creating a job portal, investing in employer branding activities, etc.

All these methods involve higher costs and are more likely to affect the bottom line. Online proctored tests and interviews are good options to secure candidates from Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges, who, otherwise, are out of bounds. Online assessment platforms can help close the talent gap, streamline the recruitment process, and provide a holistic evaluation approach in a highly-secured environment.

How Are the Different Sectors Using the Online Testing Platform?

In all likelihood, the emergence of online assessment platforms for hiring and workforce development has helped organizations hire the right talent for competitive advantage. With online assessment software, recruiters can efficiently perform candidate evaluation across domains, regardless of time and place. Such advanced platforms can provide customized assessments for a highly diversified clientele, be it for the corporate sector, educational institutions, and government bodies. Not to mention the indispensable platforms for: admissions management, administering large-scale examinations, or evaluating individual performance.

1. Corporate Sector

The shift from manual to automated processes is continual. However, it is an alarming fact that numerous recruiters yet consider traditional hiring practices to meet their needs. Organizations choose online assessment platforms to speed up their recruitment processes and onboard the best talent with the least effort and time.The ease with which entry-level and experienced professionals' potential is assessed highlights the platform's practicality. Moreover, the platform helps companies make data-driven recruitment decisions to hire the best talent and identify the workforce's essential needs. Undoubtedly, organizations have greater leeway to assess candidates for cognitive, behavioral, and communication skills and measure their domain knowledge.An organization is only as good as its best employees. A well-thought-out, strategic approach to adopting assessment-based hiring supports in identifying and retaining the best talent. These assessment platforms speed up processes, enabling companies to assess high volumes of candidates, optimize their recruitment process, bring down costs, and improve hiring quality.As organizational needs are ever-evolving, assessment software is useful in matching candidates’ skill sets to business requirements. Additionally, these platforms can help facilitate upskilling programs for developing the workforce for emerging opportunities. Using software’s proven assessments, employers recruit and retain high potential candidates with the utmost ease, which translates to enhanced productivity and better job performance.

2. Educational Institutions

Outdated exam delivery methods have made way for digital means. With the advent of online examination management systems, the examination process has become more streamlined, be it a semester or entrance test. And it bodes well for universities and colleges that want to ensure quality education, alongside the in-depth analysis of students’ knowledge and skills. Reinventing examination models through online assessment is essential for every organization amid digitalization.Test administrators need the ease of measuring relevant competencies with precision while keeping exams updated and relevant, without the concern of impersonation. Ensuring transparency while administering examinations is critical for getting valid and reliable results. That’s why online assessment platforms encompass everything, from application processing and online test scheduling to test center management. Thus, planning and delivering secure tests and examinations have become incredibly easy for leading institutions.

3. Government Sector

The public sector is also not left untouched by the aspects of using online assessment software. These computer-based assessment solutions are useful in recruiting top talent for various state and central government departments. An in-depth skill assessment, backed by analytics and well-defined test reports, can quickly identify credible candidates. Public sector organizations are up for recruiting highly skilled professionals in a competitive market. Despite that, there are fewer available public sector positions for applicants, making it difficult for government agencies to find potential candidates.

Top Features to Look for in an Online Assessment Software

Well, quite enough has already been covered about the role online assessment software can play in developing and delivering professional, high-quality, and feature-rich tests online with the utmost ease. But what features and benefits should you be looking at in an online testing platform? To drive the point home, we’ve compiled an extensive list of some of the most critical features that one should keep in mind while choosing an online test platform:

1. An Assessment Battery

An Assessment BatteryAn Assessment Battery

When measuring candidates’ skill sets, personality, and abilities, an assessment battery is the most efficient method. A test battery is a set of assessments that are clustered together to evaluate candidates’ reasoning and problem-solving skills for a particular position. Assessment batteries vary from role to role, based on the needs of the employers and job requirements.

For instance, organizations looking to hire coders may want to administer a coding test to assess applicant’s knack for coding. They may also want to deliver a psychometric test to evaluate important positive characteristics such as trustworthiness, honesty, and motivation. Similarly, administering cognitive tests would simplify technical hiring and training for organizations.Then there are tests like aptitude, sales profiler, and domain, which critically assess sales competencies and ascertain teams’ functional skills.All these tests, combined, constitute a test battery, which can also be administered as a sequence of assessments.

2. Integrated Platform

An enterprise-grade online examination platform will enable the user to deliver safe and secure exams faster than its counterparts.  With its multi-question formats, AI-enabled remote proctoring and extensive reports for varying needs, be it for education, recruitment, and training, it will customize to every organization’s needs. The platform must include multi-section workflows that simplify complex candidate processes.

Integrated Platform

Implementing spot-on hiring processes using the best candidate evaluation software is critical. There’s nothing like a self-manageable recruitment management software that helps structure online interviews, track applicants, and evaluate them via comprehensive assessments for the final interview round.

3. Customization

Customization

Online assessment software with limited features won’t strike a chord with instructors and candidates. There’s an imperative need for a versatile and customizable assessment platform that suits everyone’s needs. Such a platform allows users to either pick a custom-built test from its vast library or helps them to create their test by either using standardized questions or providing an option to add new items, depending on a job-specific competency framework.

The platform’s responsiveness is also essential in every aspect of the user experience – adaptability across all screen sizes doesn’t restrict users from accessing the tool in different devices. A practical assessment system is well-equipped to conduct systematic and fair assessments. It’s also scalable enough to perform a multitude of tests, namely psychometric, aptitude, cognitive, and coding, to name a few.

4. Better Candidate Experience

Better Candidate Experience

A robust assessment platform caters to the varied needs of businesses seeking to build a strong HiPo pipeline, renew their training and development processes, and create effective talent acquisition strategies. What makes a platform high on features is the one that also considers the candidate experience. In addition to an easy user interface, questions available on the platform should be in a language comprehensible to the candidates. It helps a candidate take those tests, not to mention the added support of images, videos, flash, and other rich media content.

5. Online Proctoring

Online Proctoring

Online Proctoring

Reliability and security are the two crucial features of a credible candidate evaluation software. Conducting an assessment in a highly cheating-proof environment is critical for evaluators. Consequently, it will become much more convenient for examiners to detect all forms of malpractices using AI-backed, anti-cheat solutions that include real-time monitoring, secure browsing, and authenticity check.

Administering examinations on a large scale is no mean feat; however, online remote proctoring makes it reasonably easy to prevent cheating candidates. It stands to reason that indulging in malpractices can be kept at bay with essential features such as facial recognition, multiple device detection, device detection, distraction detection, etc. A secure online assessment platform ensures that any candidate who indulges in cheating gets flagged during the examination.

6. Data Security

Data Security

With the objective of data security, assessment platforms assure safety. There is much at stake while monitoring the applicant’s activity during an online assessment, including everything ranging from candidates’ data and question sets to benchmarking reports.

Hence organizations must have their data stored in the cloud. If the online assessment data is well encrypted, the chances of misusing it are minimized. Data encryption prevents unauthorized access to question sets. Undoubtedly, employers can be assured of the sanctity of the results in such a secure environment.

7. Different Types of Test Questions

Different Types of Test Questions

Different Types of Test Questions

Ascertaining the justifiability of assessments without the inclusion of competency questions would be a futile exercise. Evaluators need to include various question types in their assessment platform to measure candidates’ knowledge levels.

Below are some commonly used question types that aim to understand the applicant’s thought process better:

  • Case Studies
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Subjective Writing
  • Coding Simulators
  • Guesstimate Questions
  • Diagram-Based Questions
  • Spreadsheet Questions
  • Fill-in-the-blank Questions

8. Analytical Reports

Analytical Reports

An in-depth analysis of an individual’s performance is possible with comprehensive analytical reports generated by the assessment software. What makes software worth-considering is its ability to tailor-make the offerings as per the clients’ needs.

Custom reports are more helpful in providing critical insights into candidates’ performance than standard template reports. When it comes to catering to specific organizational needs, flexible reporting is a quicker, more convenient way of going about it. Today, a data-driven recruitment strategy is the best approach to hiring top-quality employees.

9. White Labelling

White Labelling

A white label is a legal approval to allow one party to place its brand name on a product/service produced by another party, typically for a reasonable fee. White labeling boosts a brand’s public awareness and enhances the credibility of the company’s products/services.

Online assessment platforms with white-labeling features can help organizations build a strong brand around themselves, rather than accrediting someone else for the services rendered. These platforms make it easy to customize the testing interface for companies to reflect their brand personality succinctly. Besides, they take personalization to another level by allowing brands to upload their logo, change the interface background, and the color scheme as needed.

10. Secure API Support

Secure API Support

It’s well-known that APIs have made life much easier by reducing the need for human intervention and allowing the construction of custom workflows that significantly lower cost, time, and efforts. With APIs, users or companies can customize their most-in-demand services. API is a software-to-software interface with its own set of programming standards and instructions that allow easy access to a web-based software application.

Moreover, it’s quite evident to see some of the most sought-after online assessment platforms releasing their APIs so that web developers can work conveniently with these core applications. For example, Mercer-Mettl’s assessment platform offers its REST APIs that work exceptionally with search engines, and seamlessly supports all major LMSs – Moodle and Blackboard, to name a few.

11. Invest in a Multi-Linguistic Platform

Suppose you need to conduct exams in several remote locations in the country and beyond. In that case, you must consider selecting a platform available in multiple language options for different regions and nationalities.

12. Compatibility Across the Devices

The proliferation of mobile devices has opened a can of opportunities for learners to take their online tests on the go. Simultaneously, it has necessitated the technologies that allow the seamless conduct of computer-based exams on any device, including desktops, tablets, and mobiles. It simplifies the entire procedure and makes it enriching for the candidates.

13. Multiple Simulators

Always prefer deploying online skills assessments that offer multiple simulators for measuring the practical experience. It allows the evaluation of blue-collar skills along with specialized skills. Check the availability of features like code snippet evaluator with IDE integration, online coding editor, custom library, and evaluation flexibility. You can check the query writing skills by choosing a platform enabled by the database query simulator. For service-oriented QPs, there must be simulators that test the business acumen of candidates. Such a diversity of options helps you make an informed selection of an online testing platform that satisfies specified testing requirements.

14. Periodic Result Analysis

You can make data-driven decisions by selecting a system that offers systematic result analysis and reports. These reports provide a detailed summary of candidates and NOS level analysis, training partner analysis, score distribution analysis, performance criteria, and testing items analysis. Such a comprehensive analysis simplifies the timely reporting of results.

The consistency of the skills assessment test and its reliability are also essential factors to be considered apart from the technical aspects. Always invest in a system that is developed by professionals after gaining years of experience.

15. 24×7 Support

24×7 Support

Providing round the clock support to the customers would make for a useful feature. An online assessment platform is regarded as a trustworthy product if it sincerely addresses customers’ queries.Even though the service providers must support their clients, not many meet customer expectations.

It all boils down to keeping specific points in mind as a service provider:

  • Having a capable customer support team and sincere account managers to solve clients problems
  • Providing 24X7 software support to help customers at every step of their journey
  • Providing the ease of connecting via phone, chat, or email for clarification on any doubts or queries
  • Facilitating step-by-step onboarding and training session from product experts for customers convenience
  • Offering strategic guidance for creating custom assessments using the best practices from the beginning to the end
  • Assigning dedicated account managers that keep the clients updated on their assessments while strictly adhering to data-protection guidelines
  • Sharing timely updates on new product features, value-added services, and vital insights to build the best hiring process

The Mercer | Mettl Way

Mercer | Mettl’s online assessment platform is a holistic tool for effectively conducting recruitment: campus and lateral hiring, training, succession planning, certifications, and much more. The platform is built for accuracy and efficiency and supports various assessments to screen candidates online with the utmost ease.

With its decades of expertise in high-stakes employment testing, Mercer | Mettl’s online testing platform is the industry’s most versatile and proven talent assessment platform to measure skills, personality, and ability customized to your organization’s needs. One can efficiently conduct accurate talent assessments using a battery of assessments delivered on our online platform.

Access the test library here

You may also like to read:  How to Choose the Right Online Exam Software

Conclusion

As online assessment tools of evaluation get their fair share of attention currently, it will upend current assessment practices and processes. There are significant benefits of using these tools because any attempt focused on hiring the right candidate without a strategic approach may be a wild-goose chase. Hiring managers can make better hiring decisions by opting for data-driven evaluation of candidates, making the online assessment platform a critical element of organizational progress.

FAQs

Get the answers to the most commonly asked questions about online assessment tools.

We have listed the answers to the most typical concerns in the FAQ section:

What are online assessment tools?

Assessment is the process of analyzing a person or a situation based on the given information about that subject. This evaluation requires a series of questions that the subject needs to answer. Each answer is assigned a score that returns results. An assessment’s purpose can vary based on context(HR, marketing, recruitment, education, etc.). An online assessment tool is software that enables administrators to set up such an assessment virtually and analyze the results.

What are the types of assessment tools?

Listed below is a brief overview of the types of online assessment tools that are used for assessing different types of competencies:

Psychometric Assessments

i) Personality Assessments

ii) Behavioral Assessments

iii)  Cognitive Assessments

Technical Assessments

i) Coding Tests

ii) Role-Based Tests

iii) Language Proficiency Assessment (for BPOs)

Why is online assessment software necessary?

Online exam software enables you to simplify and accelerate the assessment delivery process securely and conveniently. The reason is that ensuring timely and uninterrupted assessment delivery poses a crucial challenge for recruiters, examination bodies and organizations alike. Administration of paper-based tests and evaluation of results are time and resource consuming activities. An online exam software enables administrators to schedule exams, conduct validation, administer assessment, and deliver assessments online. The exam software ensures data integrity by permitting access to authorized personnel. These software come  with inherent analytics and reporting features that enable fast tabulation of results and instant generation of results. Considering all these aspects, we can say that online assessment software is indispensable for all your testing needs, be it for recruitment, education, selection and certifications

Who uses Online assessment software?

Schools, colleges and various educational institutions make extensive use of online assessment software. However, recruiters also find this tool incredibly useful and convenient for finding a suitable candidate for a particular job.

How do you create an online assessment?

Creating online assessments becomes a tedious task with inconvenient online software. Mercer | Mettl’s web-based tool provides test administrators with a complete, all-in-one assessment solution that facilitates the evaluation process from creation to analysis. It delivers an unmatched experience to test admins, enabling them to select questions from their personal bank or utilizing Mettl’s vast library of SME verified assessments. Moreover, these tests can be customized to suit the administrator’s needs for section configuration, test duration, scoring logic, question order, and more. You can use this online assessment tool for evaluation in education, business, or any other purpose. Mettl makes it incredibly easy to create and publish online assessments in no time. 

How do online assessments work?

Educational institutions or recruiters can efficiently conduct assessments through online examination platforms. There is a vast array of options to choose from,  and one assessment can be used in combination with another for assessing competencies accurately. SMEs(Subject-matter experts) develop and compile the test questions, and most of the online assessment platforms come with auto-grading features to enable quick and efficient generation of results. Much like a paper-based examination, the online assessment serves the same purpose, albeit via the internet. Right from assessing student learning to skill testing for entry-level hiring during campus hiring can be conducted online.

How do students take online assessments?

Here are some ways in which student can take online assessments:

  • Online Quizzes
  • Open-Ended/Essay Questions
  • Open-book assessments
  • Problem-Solving Case Studies
  • Scenario-Based Questions
  • Gamification
  • Online Interviews
  • Drag-And-Drop Activities
  • Online Polls
  • Dialog Simulations
  • Forum posts
  • Peer evaluation assessment

Why do we need online assessment tools in education?

Online assessment tools in education have become an imperative necessity in today’s times for the following reasons:

  • These exams are interactive, secure, reliable, customizable, and accessible across devices
  • These assessments are scalable, easy to evaluate and grade for all types of assessments
  • These tests enable instructors to assess student learning at equal intervals, helping them monitor the progress of every candidate and guide them in real-time
  • These exams eliminate the risk of cheating and frauds 
  • These tests give test-takers useful feedback, such as their key areas of improvement, strengths and performance.

Technological advancement has instigated a rapid shift towards adopting the latest technology, leading many faculties and students to become techno-savvy and enabling institutions to redefine the classroom’s teaching and learning process. The ease of accessing learning resources remotely anytime, anywhere, prompts educators to assess students’ learning and performance by implementing online assessment tools in education.

What factors should one consider before choosing assessment tools for recruitment?

Listed below are some points that one must consider when deciding what tool to select: 

  • Identify your goals and purpose of choosing the tool
  • What should be evaluated in the tool?
  • How should you assess the core competencies identified?
  • What is the validity of the tool?

Is an online exam better than offline?

Online ExamOffline Exam
Easy to set upExtensive administrative and operational setup required
The exam is proctored through live CCTV feed and webcam monitoringQuestion papers and answer sheet are arranged manually, and hence it becomes a costly affair
Lower chances of cheatingHigher chances of cheating or using unfair means
Takes significantly less time in evaluating answers and providing resultsTakes much time in assessing responses and providing results
Cost-effectiveMay not be so cost-effective

Can online tests detect cheating?

The chances of cheating during online exams can be minimized using the best-in-class online assessment tools of evaluation. Mercer | Mettl’s online assessment software can flag any cheating or suspicious behavior with its advanced proctoring features.

Experience Virtual Exams With Our Secure And Robust Examination Platform

Use Our Robust Examination Platform With Advanced Proctoring Software For Online Exams

Originally published March 12 2020, Updated December 21 2020

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Written by

Abhilash works with the Content Marketing team of Mercer|Mettl. He has been contributing his bit to the world of online business for some years now. Abhilash is experienced in content marketing, along with SEO. He’s fond of writing useful posts, helping people, traveling, and savoring delicacies.

About This Topic

Online assessments, also known as digital or virtual assessments, are computer-based exams. Online assessments use information technology to empower test-takers to take assessments from anywhere, anytime. Online assessments are widely used by educational institutions and corporations.

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