The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a reconsideration of in-person learning by educational institutions, leading them to shift to online learning. Despite the preference for pen-and-paper examinations among many “traditional” institutions, the current global situation has compelled them to explore online exams as a viable alternative.
Traditionally, teachers, trainers, coaches, and recruiters have had no other option but to use conventional methods for creating and administering assessments. This process is well-known for being time-consuming and costly. From compiling a suitable list of questions and having them proofread to arranging for a proctor or invigilator, a great deal of effort is required for the manual procedure.
The introduction of technology in assessments has naturally reduced many of the aforementioned drawbacks. The use of online test portal technology has eliminated the need for investing significant amounts of time, money, and physical logistics that were previously required for the long and tedious assessment procedures.
Nowadays, there are multiple exam software options available in the market, catering to different applications in areas such as education, corporate recruitment, employee engagement, and employee training. However, it can be challenging to determine which one is most suitable for your needs. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of criteria that will assist you in selecting the most appropriate online exam software for your requirements. An online exam is precisely what its name implies – a system for assessing learners through an online examination system. Although similar to traditional written exams in some aspects, it differs significantly in others. While online exams offer several advantages, they also come with certain drawbacks.
7 tips – How to select the ideal online exam software
User-friendly interface and easy accessibility
The primary objective of technology is to streamline processes and, in turn, simplify our lives. Investing in complex technology is futile. Whether in training institutes, schools, or organizations, the availability of easy-to-use online testing platforms is crucial for both assessors and examinees. Users should have the flexibility to access these platforms from any location, at any time, with only a computer and an internet connection. Furthermore, the entire system should be web or cloud-based, eliminating the need to download or install any online examination system.
Ease in creating and conducting tests
Clear instructions are needed for teachers and students who are new to online assessments, covering every step from creating and assigning tests to attempting them. To simplify this process, demos and FAQs should be easily accessible at the beginning or on the website. The online assessment system should include all the necessary features for creating and conducting tests, including various types of question patterns such as MCQs, essay type, objective type, subjective type, skills-based, personality testing, and simulation questions. A relevant question bank should also be available within the software, and assessors should be able to upload their questions using Excel or other file types. Candidates should have equal convenience in attempting the test, starting with an easy login process. The online examination system should store the credentials of each candidate, with the option for timely editing and updating.
The scalability of an online examination system refers to its ability to handle increasing amounts of users, data, and traffic without compromising its performance or functionality. The scalability of computer-based testing software is crucial for recruiters and coaching institute trainers. This feature enables multiple users or candidates to participate in assessments regardless of their geographical location. To ensure scalability and high response time, the online platform requires a robust server structure. The server should be able to maintain data even during power failures or other unforeseen events. Additionally, it’s essential to have an inbuilt auto-save feature that saves each answer as soon as it’s provided.
Inbuilt proctoring feature
Proctoring or invigilation plays a crucial role in any evaluation process. The accuracy and integrity of assessment results heavily rely on the precision and effectiveness of the proctoring measures. Despite the availability of unethical means like cheating, a dependable online assessment system can incorporate anti-cheat features to counter such attempts. These measures operate on multiple levels to prevent any fraudulent practices during exams. Computer-based and online assessment platforms frequently use various proctoring methods such as webcam monitoring, audio-video recording, and screen sharing to maintain exam integrity.
Comprehensive reporting and analysis
The significance of the reporting system in online exam software cannot be overstated, as it adds value to the entire process. An all-encompassing reporting system generates test reports based on various factors that are both descriptive and easily understandable. The presentation should be in the form of statistics or graphics that depict the scores clearly and simply. Among the factors to include in the test reports are candidate-wise, question-wise, subject-wise, and comparative reports.
Easy to integrate and configure with the existing system
Numerous educational institutions, coaching centers, and companies have already implemented some type of Learning Management System (LMS) for their students or staff. To avoid any conflicts, an online assessment platform must be adaptable enough to integrate smoothly with the current system. Additionally, the online assessment system should offer white labeling and branding capabilities that allow for customization of the landing page with your company’s logo.
Even if technologies are flawless, they remain vulnerable to malfunctions and glitches. Moreover, expecting teachers and recruiters to possess comprehensive technical knowledge of a platform is unrealistic. Therefore, it is crucial to have a responsive customer support team available around the clock to address any concerns promptly.
Undoubtedly, all the points mentioned above are essential in selecting the best online test portal checklist. However, the most crucial factor to consider is your budget limitations. It is recommended to choose an online platform that provides a free trial version and allows you to explore all the features, from basic to advanced.
When purchasing a package, ensure to check the available options, whether they are user-based, test-based, or both. The ideal choice is a platform that offers both options so that you can buy a package that suits your specific needs.