Online Testing - Pros & Cons

20 Feb, 2022

In the wake of Covid-19 disrupting exam schedules, online testing is slowly becoming more common. Is online testing a blessing or a curse? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of online testing.

  1. Cheating practices

Remote exams present some challenges, such as making sure students aren't using the internet or other resources to assist themselves. Without an exam proctor present during scheduled testing, students may be more inclined to search for answers elsewhere or communicate with others. Though each provided remote exam will have their separate rules, it is more difficult to ensure students follow those rules exactly when they are conducted remotely.  

ProctorU, a company that provides college campuses with the technology needed to detect fraud during exams, is being used by universities in order to increase exam security.  The use of this software to prevent cheating on exams has, however, raised concerns about the privacy of university students.  Some students have complained that taking an exam using this format violated their privacy. Users are required to reveal their workspace via webcam, provide personal details, and have movements or noises recorded, reviewed, and stored for years.

  1. Connectivity issues

The availability of the internet is another issue related to online exams. Since the exams are conducted online, a good internet connection is required. Connections may not be reliable in some locations. In other words, in the event of a loss of connectivity, the entire response is likely to fail without a backup. Additionally, it is necessary to take each student's current time zone into consideration when planning.

  1. Comfortability:

Physically, mentally, and financially, not everyone is able to adjust themselves to the online examination environment. Students may not have access to a large screen to view long questions. Some of them lack the experience to complete long questions.

Likewise, administrating online exams can be challenging if you are not comfortable with technology and are not up-to-date on current developments. Online exams are no exception since the use of technology demands the latest trends. It may take some time to familiarize users with a completely revamped system after implementation. Those with tech-savvy skills are more likely to have a more positive experience completing an online exam. If you lack a strong technology background, taking online exams could be a major disadvantage.

Online Examination System –Advantages

Some of the advantages of online examinations are mentioned below.

1. Reduces cost:

With online exams, a great deal of time and energy has been saved, as well as natural resources like paper. Examiners are able to administer exams fairly and in a timely manner without having to draft exam questions on paper beforehand. Both examiners and students will also save money on transportation to the testing center. In turn, the administration can focus on other critical aspects and allocate funds accordingly.

2. Accuracy

Technologies for administering exams online have greatly reduced the burden on human resources. Consequently, exam results have become more accurate. This is because in-person examinations require extensive manual data entry, and human error is inevitable. Hence, you can rest assured that administering an exam online will be easy, error-free, and seamless.

3. Quick results:

It is common for online examinations to be evaluated by computer programs. Answers are automatically installed in some tests as part of the background process. Thus, when the time limit is reached, and the answers are submitted, just a minute later, the results will appear on the screen. This relieves the burden of waiting to know how well one performed on an exam and gives them insight on how to be better prepared for the next.

Digitization can make exams almost painless, but it comes with its own set of problems and benefits. As the pandemic carries on and capacity restrictions begin to be lifted, it will be interesting to see if universities continue to administer exams online or if they will go back to in-person testing. 

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