Exams are never the favorite part of students being in school. But tests are quite crucial in demonstrating the academic progress of the learner.
Tests for online learners take place at the end of the semester from the online platform. But this usually depends on the class structure of the professor.
However, online students get tested in terms of assignments and other coursework during the learning section. These assessments do contribute to the final exam grade of the course unit.
These regular assessments in the middle of the term help the tutors know if they understand the covered materials.
Online tests are handled differently from traditional classes. Learners can choose the location of their choice and use a computer to complete the online tests.
The most exciting thing is that students write their exams without any form of supervision. This helps to relieve pressure and anxiety during the session.
However, most of the online exams are open-book and open-note. The aim is to restrict learners from engaging in any form of cheating.
Therefore, the integrity of online assessments is still maintained. The learner is supposed to apply the knowledge learned in class during the exam.
Another exciting thing is that online tests have timings, making it difficult for unprepared students to provide adequate answers.
On the other hand, intensive online-writing tests require learners to download the computer’s questions and answer them offline. Later, the complete answers are uploaded and submitted to the lecturer.
Most proctored online assessments do not have an open-book and open-note format. Hence, these exams take place in a supervised environment.
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How Do Online Exams Prevent Cheating?
Cheating is becoming the norm in many institutions. Many students are getting pressure from their parents or guardians about their performance in school.
But the advancement in technology is marking the end of cheating. This is mostly happening to those learners undertaking online programs.
Here are some of the ways on how to reduce cheating during online examinations:
Design Higher Order Thinking Questions
Tutors should avoid questions that allow simple web search responses. Instead, go for problems that require the student to apply the concepts learned in the virtual classroom.
Questions that rotate around analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are usually the best. The learner will not have time to Google or ask a friend for assistance.
Create Variable Questions
Exams with plenty of multiple-choice formats are easy to be copied by learners. But coming up with an open-ended question would be a great choice.
It is relatively easy to detect cheating since there is no way learners will provide the same answers in open-ended questions. Most responses will be quite different.
Emphasis on Academic Integrity Policies
The instructor should create a video explaining all the exam guidelines, and outline consequences for those learners found cheating.
The emphasis of the academic integrity policies will deter the students from planning to cheat. This will make them change their mind and instead prepare for the exam well.
Ensure Student Sign Academic Integrity Contract
Allow the learners to sign an academic integrity contract after reviewing the video. The contract should list all the consequences associated with exam cheating.
The agreement between the students and the institution exam department will be a significant threat. Students will remain focused and opt to maintain integrity.
Have a Strict Testing Schedule
Regular final exams have a strict testing time. Facilitators should consider the same method while conducting online exams.
However, if there are students from different time zones, then have three sets of exams. Students belonging to a one-time zone should do the same exam. It will help to restrict the testing window.
Design the Platform to Show One Question at a Time
The method will restrict students from seeking assistance from family members or opening several window tabs for quick web search.
Therefore, ensure the testing tool reveals one question at a time on the computer screen. The trick will leave students with no option but to remain focused.
The option allows students to concentrate on one question at a time. It implies that they will need to provide a final answer before moving to the next question.
Backtracking restrictions prevent students from trying to go back and change the answers made earlier. This usually happens after using their extra time to research and want to correct.
Ensure the Question Sequence is Dynamic
Use the setting option of the exam platform to alter the sequence of exam questions for each learner. Make sure the order of choices is dynamic to inhibit screen sharing among learners.
The alteration will make students believe that their exam is quite different from each other. Hence, reduce the chances of cheating, and learners won’t take the test simultaneously.
Have Different Set of Exams
The trick is applicable for those students in different time zones. Having a different version of the same set of the exam is excellent to combat cheating. It will inhibit the desire to cheat since the answers to the questions provided are quite different.
Schedule Specific Time for Tests
Do not allow learners to sit for the same exam at different hours. Come up with a specific time for undertaking the test regardless of their student’s time zone. It will make it possible to supervise and also detect any form of cheating.
Protect the Question Answers
Students are tech-savvy, and they will always request a review of their examinations. Therefore, change the exam platform’s settings only to allow learners to view the questions answered incorrectly. Inhibit downloading since it is likely to be shared among other learners.
Delay Release of Results
Do not set the test to have immediate scores after the completion of the online exam. Come up with a testing window to allow students to see their scores.
Therefore, there is no way one student will finish the test and advise others still undertaking the exam. The restrictions help to curtail all loopholes of cheating in online assessments.
How to Give an Online Exam on a Computer?
The outbreak of the pandemic has forced many learning institutions to consider virtual classrooms. Besides that, it has encouraged the administration of online examinations.
Giving and doing online tests can be a little bit tricky for those individuals who are not tech-savvy. Here are tips for instructors on how to give online examination on computer or phone:
Set the Exam
Come up with different types of questions. You can consider multiple-choice or fill in the blank exam format. Multiple choice exam format is usually the easiest to mark and even administered online.
Ensure the learners can complete the questions provided within the stipulated time frame. You can use media such as pictures or videos to make learners more active and attentive.
Inform Learners in Advance
Design an examination timetable which will inform the learners about the incoming exam. The schedule will let the students study and prepare for the exams earlier.
Ambushing learners with online tests is not recommended and it doesn’t look professional. It is a way of encouraging cheating and also making students fail.
Results and Statistics
Allow the learners to view the result after completion of the exam. Ensure the exam system displays correct answers together with the general score of the learner.
The correct answers will help online learners to learn from their mistakes. It will help them revise for a future exam.
How Are Online Exams Monitored?
Online proctored exams are those tests done online by students, while a remote proctoring software is monitoring the learner and the computer.
The proctoring program’s primary function is to monitor the test taker and confirm if he or she is the genuine person sitting for the exam.
Apart from revealing the learner’s identity, the other roles of the program also help ensure the learner does not engage in any exam malpractices by reporting cheating.
Research shows that students sitting for online exams have no difference from those in the traditional classroom. The integrity of the exam is maintained regardless of the situation.
The good news is that the artificial intelligence of the proctoring software helps to mitigate the exams’ privacy. Hence, making all online tests safe and secure.
Virtual classrooms have played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. It has been seen as the savior for many learners.
Many learning institutions opted for online learning to avoid affecting their academic calendar. Most exams took place through various online learning platforms with maximum supervision.
The learners underwent serious training in doing online exams and maintaining a high level of exam integrity. It is something that has seen the success of online lessons and exams.
Check out here some good strategies for taking online exams.