Why Assessments and Understanding Their Purpose In Education
The purpose of assessment is to monitor student learning, improve academic programs, and enhance teaching and learning.
One of the key functions of schools and educational institutes is to import learning and knowledge. Assessments represent an important aspect of measuring this learning and knowledge imparted by the school.
Assessments give learners an accurate picture of where they stand as compared to their peers and this serves as a catalyst and positive reinforcement for learners by encouraging them to perform better.
Besides monitoring and measuring the learning process of an individual or an entire classroom of students, assessments also helps to the teachers set a goal for every semester/chapter and then determine whether the goals of education are being met.
Another key purpose of assessments is the serve as a powerful feedback tool for the teachers to understand if their teaching style and method is working for the students. With this feedback, teachers can contemplate on if their ways to improve their instruction and this promotes better learning among the students.
By enhancing the teaching and learning methods of the teachers, a well-developed assessment plan can serve the purpose of helping to improve academic programs and build the reputation of the school
Making The Shift To Online Assessments In Schools, Colleges and Universities
In many educational institutes, technology has preceded the way for online assessments and exams.
Schools across the world are realizing that teaching and evaluating students are essential actions which do not need to be restricted to the confines of a traditional, physical classroom. With the use of smart gadgets, laptops and computers, these tasks can be performed at any time – irrespective of the location of the teacher or the student.
It is therefore not surprising that many educational institutes are hence making the gradual shift from using the traditional assessment methods to using online assessment tools that not only benefit the students and teachers but are also be advantageous to the institutes.
Understanding The Advantages Of Online Assessments
1. Flexibility of Location and Time
This is perhaps the most talked about advantage on online assessments as it allows students to option to sit for the exam at a location of their choice. It also ensures that teachers can invigilate the assessments remotely. This reduces the stress of the students and teachers and also helps save the time and cost of travel.
2. Lesser Administrative Burden
Online exams greatly reduce the administrative burden on the school, helping save the time and effort on the printing and distribution of exam papers, the setting up on examination centers and classrooms.
3. Easier Preparation, Marking and Moderating of Question Papers
With an online assessment system, teacher can create a bank of approved questions which then then be used for all the upcoming questions to create automatic and randomized papers.
The online assessment also makes checking, moderating and marking the exam results a lot faster, streamline and standardized.
4. Faster Evaluations and Results
Online assessments are easier to evaluate, faster to mark and many assessment options allow for auto scorable questions. These methods ensure that the students receive their results a lot faster than the traditional methods. This also eliminates the waiting period for the results which is filled with anxiety and stress for the students and parents alike.
The immediate feedback can also be used by teachers to grasp students’ understanding and modify their teaching methods accordingly
5. An Environment Friendly Solution
Online assessments give schools the opportunity to go paperless as all the examination related papers, printing and the transportation of the same is completely eliminated.
6. A Secure Solution
Maintaining the safety and the security of the traditional school exam papers can be extremely stressful for schools.
However, with an online assessment there is greater security as all exam papers, answer sheets, candidate details, examination marks and school results are digitally stored with only limited staff having access to the exam information.
7. Easier Report Creation
An online assessment system with the help of a school management system also makes it easy to create reports. These reports can be customized according to the guidelines of the school or to reflect the various paraments of the student performance.
One of the key benefits of online assessments is that they greatly reduce the human, logistic and administrative costs associated with a traditional examination method.
What Are Some of The Types of Online Assessments?
1. Multiple choice questions
Multiple choice questions usually include a phrase or an question followed by multiple options to the student to choose from. These can include variations of the answer, a true or false option etc.
This methodology is an effective way to assess learning outcomes such as basic recall, concept application, analysis and evaluation
2. Open-ended questions / Case based discussions
Open-ended questions give the students creative freedom as there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, when taking the online assessment, the student must simply reflect on the topic and draw their own conclusions.
3. Oral exams or interviews
This exam method uses video conferencing to test the knowledge of the students and is perfect for one-one-one assessments or for small groups
4. Open-book assessments
Open book assessments allow students to refer to either class notes and or textbooks while answering questions. This testing helps to promote higher order thinking skills as it focuses on understanding the concept rather than rote learning
5. eLearning blogs and essays
In this form of assessments, students can be encouraged to submit weekly essays or blogs that will assess online student learning progress and identify areas for improvement for them.
6. Online Discussions
Teacher facilitated online group discussions give students the opportunity to improve their comprehension of a topic and reveal their level of understanding.
These are some of the popular methods of online assessments. Today with new tools and technologies online instructors can adapt their traditional assessment techniques to ensure that students as assessed fair and efficient manner aligned with course learning outcomes. Conduct Online Assessment Today!
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