5 Reasons Schools Should Switch To Online Tests by Shankar Ganesh

Part of the series: Cool Sites by Guest Author, Shankar Ganesh

Make no mistake – there’s an evolution happening in education right now. Schools are increasingly embracing technology to enhance learning in their classrooms. Still though, a few processes, like examinations, for example, are done in the traditional way. It’s time schools get rid of the plain old pen-and-paper way of testing and move to online tests. Here’s why:

1. Time Saver

Since online tests are self-graded, Professors can be relieved of the burden of evaluating test sheets manually. There’s also a good chance that students will complete online tests quicker, once they get accustomed to the process.

This is perfect for public schools and universities – all the time saved can help instructors focus better on preparing lessons and course material. Students get their results in no time – enough motivation for them to get involved in academics.

2. No Logistical Challenges

Believe it or not: conducting paper-based exams is logistically challenging. Test times have to be scheduled and test sheets have to be gathered. There’s plenty of work involved and there are chances things could go awry.

An online testing platform eliminates all that cumbersome work. Scheduling tests can be done at the click of a button. Students can be batched and questions can be replicated in random order for each of those batches with little effort.

3. Multimedia

Schools have embraced multimedia by the way of instructions. It’s time to bring all that interactivity to tests. Multimedia is a great choice for authentically assessing a candidate’s level of understanding. Plain paper is inadequate in that respect and it should be chucked.

An online test can be embedded with relevant multimedia elements to make it more challenging, unique and fun for students. More student engagement, guaranteed. It’s not like assembling projectors in classes. Embedding videos and pictures is a piece of cake.

4. Low Cost

Development and delivery of online exams is much more efficient and cost effective when compared to distribution of paper and pencil-based exams. There’s not much effort involved in reproducing questions for tests if they’re done online. Scoring isn’t expensive as well – it is all automated.

In addition, online tests take away the costs involved in storing the enormous volume of data that is associated with the analysis of student scores and report generation. Online tests are your best bet.

5. Reduced Cheating

Better scores translate to more rewards in the US and according to experts, one to three percent of teachers tamper with students’ test scores every year. No disrespect to educators, but that means a few thousand teachers indulge in “actual cheating” annually (NYTimes story).

On the contrary, evaluation in online tests is completely automated – the computers know nothing about the candidates. There’s no way to skew answers and this is possibly the best way to do away with cheating in exams.

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Shankar profile-pic
Shankar Ganesh is a young blogger from India. He’s pursuing his bachelor’s degree in engineering in India, and is currently working to make sure that more teachers and educators get to know about Zoho Challenge, Zoho’s sweet quiz maker application.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

7 comments

  1. I agree that online testing can make a lot of the logistics easier, not to mention the paper, etc. saved. And the addition of multimedia definitely opens up some new options.

    But there are at least some subjects where computer grading is probably not going to work well–that pretty much required multiple-choice answers (unless it’s something like math where there’s really only one or two ways to express the answer anyway). For tests where short-answer or essay questions might be more appropriate, you’ll probably still need a teacher to grade (not to mention to offer useful feedback). That being said, there’s no reason that couldn’t be done in online tests anyway.

  2. This must be how we do things as we go forward. Online tests not only give teachers vital formative information, they also give students the opportunity to take and retake tests as many times as they want. This can change the face of grading, which is also vital. Check my summary of “Wounded by School” at DrDougGreen.Com. Great Post!

  3. @Daniel Faulkenberry I agree. There are things that an online test system cannot substitute for which manual methods have to be relied upon. But a majority of tests that are only multiple choice can be ported online.
    @Douglas W. Green Indeed! Online tests are the future.

  4. Agreed… sure you need a teacher’s eyes to help grade an essay, but for multiple choice exams, why not let a computer do the work? Online education is the future, and the possibilities presented by using technology in education are something we should all take advantage of.

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