Paper-based exams have been used for centuries to protect various types of academic integrity. Computer-based exams have been around for a while, but they saw a significant increase during the pandemic. Institutions and students were relieved primarily due to the continuity of education delivery and assessment. However, as the situation began to normalize following COVID, the academic community debated whether to switch to computer-based tests or continue using the traditional method.
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What exactly is computer-based testing?
Computer-based testing occurs when digital instruments such as computers, laptops, or tablets are used as a platform to conduct an assessment or test rather than the traditional paper-based method.
Let us delve deeper and dissect the topic of web-based test programmes to understand its nuances. By the end of this article, the reader should have a better understanding of the decision to switch from PC-based testing to computer-based testing for exams. What is the best way to prepare for the CBT exam? It will be provided here.
• Select the Most Appropriate Testing Software
Onboarding smart and scalable testing software is a fundamental requirement of the transition from paper-based testing to computer-based examinations. When institutes use an LMS, they get a built-in CBT exam platform. They can, however, choose to use only the testing software that supports computer-based exams for traditional courses. The testing software should be scalable to accommodate more students, cost-effective, technologically robust, and simple to use. Especially for institutes that are using testing software for the first time, a user-friendly interface and powerful technology are required.
• Don’t Forget Making Use of Online Proctoring
Indeed, computer-based testing (CBT) is difficult for institutes, and the physical presence of invigilators is a critical factor in ensuring exam integrity. However, the same level of security is possible in computer-based tests. Intelligent remote proctoring software, employs artificial intelligence and advanced features to make the online proctoring process smooth and secure. Both institutes and students can expect a smooth exam experience as well as a fair and equitable computer-based assessment process.
• Stick to the standard format
Maintaining the standard format is critical when transitioning from paper-based testing to an online exam system, as students are already accustomed to a specific form and structure of exams. As a result, computer-based exams should be available in a similar format. Students may be resistant to this change if the institution fails to maintain structure consistency in its web-based examination platform. To ensure maximum cooperation and minimal resistance from all stakeholders, intelligent remote proctoring software is recommended.
Maintain the Highest Level of Cyber-Security Possible
One critical aspect of moving to computer-based exams is that institutions must use best-in-class cyber security mechanisms to prevent external threats. Once academic information, particularly critical details such as computer-based assessment credentials, is available on the internet, the threat of malicious malware and hacking attacks increases. A strong and up-to-date cybersecurity system can boost an institution’s exam management credibility and ease of use.
• Retrain Your Resources Several Times
When a school decides to switch from paper-based testing to computer-based testing (CBT), teachers and administrators are vehemently opposed. Fear of an unknown online CBT exam system is strong enough to demotivate employees. As a result, management should schedule recurring training for staff members, and multiple mock sessions will help the teacher gain confidence in conducting the actual ones. Mock sessions also aid in the early identification of technical or procedural flaws for correction.
• Provide a detailed instruction manual to students and teachers ahead of time.
A standard operating procedure for the online CBT platform must be available to teachers, administrators, and students well in advance. Every step required for the computer-based test should be illustrated with screen images to help stakeholders understand it quickly. Providing an extensive user manual for online exam software in advance can reduce the burden on the institution during the exams. During the examination, stakeholders will have fewer questions and issues.
According to general observation, the majority of queries stem from inexperience with a system. Users are less likely to become stuck in computer-based assessment software if a detailed user manual is available.
What Are the Benefits of Computer-Based Exams?
A computer-based test has numerous advantages for both students and institutions. For your convenience, here is a list of the most notable ones.
- Cost-effective option for having dynamic and unique tests
Embrace Technology for Data and Information Standardization and Accuracy
Except for a few minor challenges, computer-based tests have numerous advantages. Using the CBT exam platform or online exam software in India, institutes can scale up to an exponential level and reach out to students beyond the brick-and-mortar structure. The online exam method overcomes the constraints of timing and time zones. Students, on the other hand, can take exams and take different courses despite geographical limitations. As a result, any institute in a region with adequate internet access should embrace this technological capability and develop a paperless exam structure. Online test programming is booming in India, and smarter institutes are already adjusting quickly to meet international educational standards.
Why do examination platform implementations fail?
There are numerous reasons why the implementation of an online examination platform – or any IT solution – fails. Here are some of the most typical:
- Disagreements between what platform and features the institutions required, what they desired, and what they received
- Forgetting to consider the users’ needs and desires
- Failure to adequately train end users
- Inadequate implementation strategy
- Inadequate research results in a lack of knowledge.
- Uncertain goals, objectives, and key performance indicators
- Expectations that are unrealistic
- Time constraints
The pandemic wreaked havoc on many educational institutions. Many were completely new to remote and online learning and examinations and were unprepared. It was all too common to get stuck on the implementation step. The pandemic’s time-sensitive nature made implementation even more difficult for educational institutions.
Remote education is here to stay. So, when choosing a vendor, prioritize your time to ensure that the platform can properly support your institution and is properly implemented and integrated into your operations.
If you are in the process of selecting a platform, we recommend that you go for Mercer | Mettl for selecting the best digital examination platform for your needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.