Advantages and Challenges of Using Online Assessment

Advantages and Challenges of Using Online Assessment

Recently the news of CEM shifting to online assessment is becoming viral and every parent and student wish to know about the online assessment and what CEM is going to offer. Will the schools shift their exam board or will adapt online assessment offered by CE? If yes then how, when, where?

Let’s understand what exactly is online assessment, its advantages and challenges. First of all, let`s wait for more and direct information from CEM and the schools on their proposed plans, rather than getting worried.

IT has an impact to improve learning environment and process. With the increasing number of students and the limitation of placements, a new innovation in learning was required. Thus, online learning and online assessment have been introduced, to offer online courses and electronic assessment. Online assessment enables the students live in remote areas to have the test in their homes, and helps the teacher to correct the exam and release the marks in a short time. 

Developing Technology, mainly in IT field has been an assistance tool in education for a long time. A massive change in many sectors, especially in education, occurred during the recent pandemic period.

As online learning and online assessment have been introduced, the learning process has developed. Online assessment has enhanced the measurement of learner outcomes and made it possible for them to obtain immediate and direct feedback. It is essential to create a system to assess students, which takes into account the educational goals and help students to develop their skills which will be a useful for the society for long-term.

Online assessment can have different forms such as, automatic administrative procedures, digitizing paper-based systems and online testing that includes multiple choice tests and assessment of problem-solving skills. Nowadays, online assessment comprises the end-to-end electronic assessment procedures which includes a complete examination process comprising the proposition, composing papers, signing up, examining, batching, statistics and analysis. End-to-end online assessment process is a complete assessment process from the presentation of questions to the saving of the learner’s responses.

Many universities, colleges and educational institutes adopted online assessment, in order to obtain develop, accurate and faster method to assess students, rather than traditional measure (paper-test). This section presents the advantages of using online assessment in different domains: student, teacher, institution, in educational aims.

A. Student
 Some students prefer online assessment, because they can have more control, friendly interfaces and test as games and simulations, which resemble learning environment and recreational activities. It is, also, fast and easy to use. Online assessment provides immediate feedback comparing with paper test, which helps to improve the learning level. It helps the students in remote area to learn and assess in their locations and it can take it any time, which provide flexibility for students to have the exams.
B. Teacher
The paper test consumes time from teacher to correct each paper, but using online assessment will save the teacher time, online assessment helps the teacher to improve the quality of feedback for the students. Online assessment enables the teacher to track the students’ performance and make analysis across many assessment results. The direct feedback from Online assessment allows the teacher to find the misconceptions, which are not clear for the students and solve them before the final exam. Using Online assessment can reduce the teachers’ burden to assess large number of students.
C. Institution
Increasing the number of students, which increase the demand of fast and accurate method for assessment. Also, an institution needs timely results to arrange for places for the appropriately qualified applicants, this can accrue easily using online assessment. Moreover, using online assessment decreases the cost for institution to assess the students, as the time is greatly reduced.   Furthermore, online assessment has its own set of security, which provides the questions and denies the student the possibility to copy questions. In addition, it includes checking identification and password verification to ensure the identity of student. It also assists to reduce student-cheating by providing different question in different order.
D. Educational Aims                                                                                                                 
Online assessment supports educational goals, by supporting high ability thinking skills such as critiquing, reflection on cognitive processes and facilitate group work projects. Moreover, it supports the new educational goals, that focused on problem solving using mathematics, science and supported by information technology, for instant understanding and presenting the problem, especially in mathematical and scientific literacy. Moreover, it provides more accurate results than paper test, by adaptive testing, which change the difficulty of the test depend on the user response, by increasing the difficulty if he/she responds correctly and decrease the difficulty if he/she chooses the wrong answer.

Implementation of online assessment in higher education could face some challenges. 
• Inexperienced student with computer or with the online assessment process. Students need training at the beginning to be familiar with online assessment.
• Accessibility of computer and internet. As a solution for this problem, the institutions should provide a labs with full equipment and internet access for those students.
• Poor technical infrastructure development along with other affecting factors such as electricity supply, server speed, internet speed may have an influence on student’s performance.
• The difficulty in scoring and correcting questions with student open response such as explain things. The computer will be appropriate for questions that have well defined answers - such as short answer questions 
• Some teachers unfamiliar with technology, or most of them use online assessment for first time. Therefore, teachers need training to be confident in using the Online assessment system.
• It is more difficult in areas, such as reading the text and answering the questions based upon it. The screen size, concentration span along with focus have a direct impact on answering correctly.
• If the questions from online assessment are the same, then there is a threat of sharing the questions from the student who attended earlier with the students who will appearing in future.

At  Champs Learning we personally believe in giving exposure to both systems to our students. This will enable them to be prepared to deal with any future adaptations school might take in the future.