The advantages and disadvantages of online exams are often raised in discussions about the evolution of the education and training system. Added to this is the dizzying digital transformation in the sector, with the benefits it projects and the challenges it faces.
We address these issues by presenting you with the advantages and disadvantages of online exams and considering online tests, both written and oral.
Advantages and disadvantages of taking exams
Although it is a topic under constant debate, in our educational processes, examinations or evaluations are necessary to adjust a subject’s method and program towards optimal results.
Evaluation guarantees the quality of teaching and learning. However, one of the most significant challenges for the examiner is the objectivity of the grades, which must reflect whether or not the student has achieved the learning objectives.
For this reason, the evaluation must be based on several types of estimation to form a complete judgment and not be based solely on these tests.
Given these preliminary questions, the advantages of examinations are to be found precisely in all that they make it possible to do.
In this sense, the evaluation, both written and oral, allows:
- The student knows his situation, i.e., which areas of knowledge he has achieved and which ones he needs to reinforce.
- The teacher can check which pedagogical objectives have been met and which have not, which leads to a rethinking of the activities.
- The examiner is aware of the student’s performance in a subject, a unit, or a training cycle.
- The examiner can assess the level of individual progress of other students.
- The teacher stimulates the student by pointing out areas for improvement.
The exam as a tool is enhanced thanks to the innovation brought by new technologies in its approach, its correction, its supervision, and its subsequent analysis.
Advantages of online written exams
Online written exams have multiple advantages for both the examiner and the student, as long as secure environments are created to ensure the identification and privacy of all participants.
We share with you the nine fundamental advantages of written online exams.
Accessibility and convenience
Access from anywhere, minimizing or eliminating architectural barriers or any other impediment due to displacement.
Time and travel savings
You do not have to go anywhere to take the exam; you can do it from the place you choose, even from your home, and without spending hours traveling.
Online exams do not require paper or support material beyond a computer and an Internet connection. This represents a clear economic saving for all involved.
Simultaneous evaluation of large groups of students
The dynamics of virtual tests make it possible to test many people simultaneously, which translates into savings.
Depending on the type of assessment, test takers can see their scores as soon as they finish the test.
More objective results
Thanks to the different automated scoring methods, there is no room for subjectivity in multiple-choice, binary, or multiple-choice tests, for example.
Improved technological skills
Having to keep up to date with virtual testing tools gets all students used to digitization.
Making tests more dynamic
In the exams, you can use all kinds of argumentative or dynamizing support, such as videos, recordings, or 3D animations that give the tests an added value.
Obtaining parameterizable data
Many online test software programs offer reports and statistics on the development of the test. If you are the examiner, you can use them to improve the test quality.
Perhaps we should add a tenth benefit: the examinee can self-evaluate by accessing the performance reports of the virtual examination system.
On the other hand, these tests have several disadvantages, most of which are easily avoidable with resources such as online proctoring systems.
Disadvantages of online written exams
To test the means by which a test will be conducted and to dispel any doubts about it, we recommend you propose a presentation session reproducing the same conditions as the online exam.
Thanks to this, students become familiar with the tool to avoid a crisis that is difficult to manage on the test day.
Take note of the disadvantages of online exams that you should be aware of to apply the appropriate measures:
- Requires access to technology.
- There is no equity in the conditions to take the exam.
- Technical problems or connection errors may occur.
- The context of the examinee may be incompatible with taking the exam.
- The student may lack concentration due to not having the habit of virtual work.
- There is a risk of hacking the online exam by impersonation, involvement of third parties, or consultation of unauthorized sources.
As we have advanced, most of them can be avoided with a simulation session and education proctoring software that provides you with the most appropriate monitoring and analysis tools.
Advantages of online oral exams
As far as an oral online exam is concerned, the advantages of written tests are complemented by the comfort of context.
By choosing the place where we are going to interact and putting physical distance between the examiner(s) and the student, the latter can feel less pressure when answering.
Disadvantages of online oral exams
Regarding the disadvantages, it also shares many with the written exams, requiring, in addition to those mentioned above, the need to have a stable connection that allows the conversation to be fluid and intelligible.
For the excellent development of this practice, both participants must verify the connections and the available resources.
In conclusion, when online tests are carried out with the necessary protections, they increase objectivity and guarantees for the students and offer a series of special reports to the examiners.
At Smowltech, we are specialists in innovative, flexible, and scalable proctoring products that will provide you with professional environments for your online tests, performance, work environment, or integrity evaluations.
Request a free demo if you prefer a hands-on experience of what we offer.
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