“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”
Those were the days when students used to rush with an open book in hand, deep into the last minute revisions while in the school bus or on the backseat of their dad’s scooter…nostalgic…isn’t it?
Yes…that’s the exam season! The time when parents insist their children to complete their portions, when a few students are confident, more are likely to be confused. But, what about educators? Is it easy to conduct examinations?
I am Yamini Hima Bindu – an educator for 20 years now and will continue to be. Let me take you through the journey of an educator in conducting examinations online.
As we all know traditional classroom-based learning has shifted to online mode in a compulsive environment. Students have been attending online classes or using communication technologies for continuing their learning.
However, the examination process is one of the most critical aspects of the academic cycle. The right evaluation of students is essential to understand the progress of the student in terms of knowledge gained and conceptual understanding of the overall subject / topic.
Eventually, online examinations are becoming the new normal.
Let me guide you through the stages of conducting online exams:
- Choosing on the right software
- Security features
- Training the teachers
- Online exams for students
- Online and offline correction
- Result analysis
Choosing the Software:
Protecting the integrity of exam and exam data are the key areas of concern. Experts and veterans had to shortlist for software that comes with security features so we could evaluate student performance confidently and provide timely remediation measures for improvement, now and beyond COVID.
Importance of Security during Online Exam
As we all know, current social distancing norms have resulted in adopting new technology for secure online exams process. Security during online exams is one of the critical success factors for management of academic exams.
Online examination system offers scalability and flexibility to manage end to end process of question paper pattern to processing the results.
Training the Staff
Teacher training is an important aspect for many reasons. Many of us need to consider how to have our students take exams online. In many cases, this involves learning how to use tools that help ensure students take the exam with only the resources you want them to have.
As we think about giving exams online, it is very important that we communicate with our students about behaviour that is acceptable during the exam. Are they allowed to collaborate? To use their notes or text? To use other websites? What instructors communicate to students about what is allowed?
Conducting Online Exams
We instruct our students to appear for the online exam from a remote location where they need to have a continuous internet connection along with a web camera.
The web-camera will help us to capture the photographs of those candidates and it will also help teachers to record the entire activity of the candidate/s. An artificial intelligence-powered algorithm will also help us to monitor the entire candidate activity.
Online and offline corrections
Correction of the assessment scripts is an important step in the entire process. School assessments are conducted in 2 types – Objective & Subjective. The objective set of questions can be created as a link and shared to students with time restrictions and safety measures. Results data can be exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading.
Subjective question papers are posted to students; Students take the exams with all the measures that are discussed under “Conducting Online Exams”. Post the assessments students are given limited time to scan & mail the answer scripts to the teachers. Teachers physically correct the scripts.
We take great care in marking and grading students’ work, some exams are marked on paper and some (such as multiple-choice exams) are marked automatically by a computer. But for any exam, every students’ work is marked in the same way.
Teachers are experts in their subject, and they are carefully trained. It is vital that they all mark to the same standard so that we can award the right mark to every student every time.
After all the marking has been done, we set the grades. We use a mixture of statistical evidence and expert guidance to agree grade boundaries. Once the grade boundaries have been agreed, we apply them.
Results Analysis will help us understand how our students are learning, and how they have performed in each area of the syllabus. We use this information to identify areas of strength and weakness in order to focus your teaching where it’s most needed.
We analyse data at whole school level and individual candidate level, look at our overall results, or focus on how our students have performed in specific areas of the syllabus. This information will help us identify overall trends in our school’s performance and provide constructive feedback for individual students.