Numerous facets of our life, including the educational system, have been revolutionised by technology. One of the numerous technical developments that has changed the way students take examinations is online examination systems. More schools and institutions are adopting online assessment methods, which is slowly rendering traditional paper-based tests obsolete. This article outlines the benefits of online examination systems, how they function, the security precautions taken to preserve their integrity, and the difficulties in putting them into practice.
Online examination systems have certain benefits.
1.Time-saving and effectiveness : Teachers and administrators may save a tonne of time and work by using online examination systems instead of manually managing test papers. The time required to hand grade each paper can be decreased by programming the system to automatically grade the examinations. This effectiveness enables professors to grade examinations more quickly and give students feedback on time.
2.Lower Costs : The expenses of printing, archiving, and disseminating paper-based tests are reduced by online exam systems. Additionally, it does away with the necessity for actual invigilation, saving money on the expense of paying invigilators and renting exam facilities. Online examination systems are a desirable choice for schools and colleges, particularly those with limited funds, due to their affordability.
3.Accessibility and practicality : As long as they have an internet connection, students can take examinations using online examination systems from any location. Students won’t have to make the time-consuming and difficult trip to specified exam locations because of this. Additionally, it removes the possibility of pupils missing tests because of things like poor weather or traffic. Students may take tests at their own speed and in the comfort of their homes thanks to the ease of online testing systems.
4.Improved Security : Online testing platforms offer improved security safeguards to stop exam fraud and maintain exam integrity. The system has the ability to randomly generate questions and response options, making it challenging for pupils to plagiarise from their classmates. To confirm that the individual taking the test is the registered student, it also employs face recognition technology and other biometric tools. Online testing platforms may also keep track of how much time is spent on each question and spot any suspect behaviour, such copying and pasting.
How Online Exam Systems Operate:
Typically web-based, online testing systems need an internet connection to be accessed. On a computer or mobile device, a web browser may be used to access the system. The credentials that students must need to log in are often issued by the school or institution. Students can access the test and begin completing the questions after they have registered in.
A time restriction may be set for each question, and the system can be designed to display one question at a time. This stops students from skipping questions or devoting an excessive amount of time to one particular question. Each student will receive a different set of questions because to the system’s ability to randomly organise the questions and response options.
As soon as the exam is over, the system immediately evaluates it and gives the student feedback. A report highlighting the student’s performance and strong and weak points can also be produced by the system.
Security precautions for online testing platforms:
To determine cheating and maintain the integrity of the exam, online examination software includes a variety of security measures. Among the security precautions are:
1.Technologies Using Biometrics : Facial recognition and other biometric technologies are used by online test systems to confirm that the individual taking the exam is the registered student. By doing this, students are prevented from paying a third party to take the exam on their behalf.
2.Randomization : Each student will receive a different set of questions thanks to the ability of online examination systems to randomly organise the questions and response options.
3.Time Monitoring : In order to prevent students from spending excessive time on a single question or area of the exam, online examination systems include the ability to measure the amount of time spent on each question. This can deter pupils from seeking up answers, which can help avoid cheating.
4.Browser Suppression : In order to prohibit students from accessing any other websites or applications while taking the exam, online examination systems include the ability to lock down the student’s web browser. This may stop pupils from seeking information or assistance from others.
5.Proctoring : Proctoring technology may be used by online exam systems to keep an eye on the students as they take the test. This can involve keyboard analysis, screen monitoring, and audio and video recording. Technology used for proctoring can identify unusual behaviours including copying and pasting, several faces on the webcam, and other suspicious behaviours.
Implementing online examination systems presents several difficulties.
Even while online examination systems have many benefits, putting them into practice comes with a number of difficulties. Among the difficulties are:
1.Tech Problems : Because they rely on technology, online testing platforms might experience system breakdowns, server outages, and sluggish internet connections. Both students and administrators may become frustrated as a result.
2.Accessibility : Online testing programmes need dependable internet connectivity, which may not be available everywhere, particularly in poor nations. Some students may find it challenging to take the exam as a result, which might result in injustice.
3.Cheating : Some pupils could still find a method to cheat on the test despite the security precautions that have been put in place. This might compromise the exam’s integrity and lessen its use as a tool for assessment.
4.Training and Assistance : Teachers and students must be trained on how to use online testing systems, which might take more time and money. Technical assistance is also required to make sure the system functions properly and to help with any potential problems.
The future of education lies on online assessment systems, which have several benefits including increased efficiency, reduced cost, accessibility, and security. However, putting in place online test systems has its own set of difficulties, including technological problems, accessibility, cheating, and training and support needs. To maintain the efficacy and integrity of the test, colleges and institutions need to carefully analyse these issues and implement the necessary solutions. Online testing platforms can help harness the promise of technology and transform how we evaluate students with proper preparation and execution.
Mercer | Mettl is an online assessment platform that provides online proctoring services for various types of exams. It offers a range of features, including AI-powered proctoring, facial recognition, and secure browser, to ensure a fair and secure exam-taking experience for candidates.