With COVID-19 on its paw, the entire education system came to a halt. Every student got affected in some or the other way. The classes are stopped, and schools and colleges are closed. However, slowly the classes got shifted to the online platform. Teachers are taking classes online through online video software. As more and more time passed, the education system has also sorted to start taking exams online through online exam software and online proctoring. This software helps in the fair and accurate conduction of exams on the online platform. However, a lot of discussion goes into deciding whether this mode of conducting examinations is a good idea or not. An analysis of the same would thus, help to determine it.
The benefits of taking exams online-
- A large number of candidates: In online exams, a large number of candidates can come together and give exams at a time with ease and comfort. This helps in catering to a large number of students.
- Reduces cost and effort: Online exams reduce the overall cost related to paper-based exams. A lot of money gets used it is set up and in organizing, papers, classrooms, and other materials are to be arranged. However, in online exams, such costs get eliminated. Also, a lot of effort that otherwise would have gone into online exams is eliminated. Thus, it saves a lot of cost and effort.
- Randomizing the questions and answers: In online exams, the questions and answers can be arranged randomly to avoid any chances of cheating or misconduct. This makes the process better and more efficient. However, randomizing things in real and on paper becomes very hectic and messy. This makes it easy in this department.
- Can operate without an instructor: Exams can be conducted online without any instructor. The instructions can be given online before the exam and the exam can be conducted automatically. This makes the entire process flexible and smooth.
- Online checking and record: The answers can be checked through a computer only. There is no need for physical checking and record keeping. The answers can be checked and scores can be assigned as soon as the test gets completed. The record is also kept online and thus, there is no need for long physical records. It can be checked anytime and anywhere since it’s in physical form.
- Easy modifications: With changing trends and changing needs the questions and the pattern of the exam can be easily modified and upgraded. This helps in keeping the exam up to date and of excellent quality.
- Increase computer literacy: With exams being conducted online, students will be forced to learn how it works. This can help in increasing awareness about using technology and making people more aware of online platforms.
- Students can take a test at their own pace: This reduces the unnecessary pressure that students have to go through in an exam. Students can move at their speed. They can answer questions at their own pace without any hurry. This reduces pressure makes them stress-free and allows them to take exams easily and in comfort.
- Avoid a lot of arrangements: A lot of arrangements are to be made in the cases of offline exams. Examination centers are assigned and students are to be divided among them. The whole process becomes very lengthy and time-consuming. However, no such arrangements are to be done online. This saves time, money, and effort for both parties.
- Secure environment: The exams in the online mode can be conducted safely and efficiently. With effective software, online proctoring can be done to ensure that the candidates are truly giving exams without any misconduct.
However, there are some disadvantages also of conducting the exams online such as-
- Chances of misconduct: Even though supervision of the students can be maintained, 100% reliability cannot be there. One cannot assure if the exam is being given fairly or the book is open or some website is open. This spoils the whole purpose of taking exams. The students may not be properly graded in this process
- Group evaluation: In the schools, the total grade is assigned based on group as well as individual assessments. In the online mode, it is not possible to assess and evaluate group performance since group activity cannot be conducted properly. This affects the whole grade and evaluation and may result in incorrect grades.
- No examination hall: The atmosphere in an examination hall cannot be maintained similarly at home or in comfort. In the examination hall, the students do not have access to any external help. In online mode, however, it is difficult to keep proper track of the same at home. Also, the seriousness of the examination hall cannot be copied at home.
- Adopting new technology: A lot of resistance is received when the traditional method is shifted. This is because people find it difficult to adapt and change their methods. A lot of investment is required in teaching people prior the conducting online about the various processes of the online platform. Thus, the education system needs to first invest in teaching people before getting started with it.
It can be concluded that an online exam is a good idea. But it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. With effective online proctoring, steps can be taken to ensure that the exams so are given are completely authentic and not given in misconduct ways.
The benefits of this software are-
- These can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
- It increases scalability.
- It properly authenticates the identification of the student.
- It keeps in check if the student is getting involved in any malpractices.
With the help of software like these, it is possible to conduct the exams online in a very secure and authentic manner. It can be ensured using this, that the students are not involved in any kind of malpractices. If properly conducted the online method of taking examinations can act as a boon, saving time, effort, and money from so many parties at the same time. However, on the part of the students, they should also ensure that they do not involve or try to involve in any kind of malpractices.