ExamOnline supports the people involved in the assessment process – examiners, candidates and human markers. Interfaces are clear, consistent and intuitive. Approaches to test writing, delivery, completion, marking and results analysis aim to fit with existing good-practice, supporting the transition from paper-based to on-screen exams.
Writing the tests
The nature of the assessment, not the medium of delivery (on-paper or on-screen), should dictate the style of questions to be used. The range of question-types supported by ExamOnline, and in particular the support for human marked questions, are a direct result of the demand for them by examiners. ExamOnline enables examiners to use the types of questions which best assess their candidates.
Delivering the test to candidates
There are two ways to deliver a test in ExamOnline : you can schedule a test for delivery, or you can run an invigilated test immediately. As the name suggests, scheduling a test means specifying a future time window when the test will be available to a particular group of candidates. This is the conventional way to deliver e-assessments.
However ExamOnline also supports a unique model to support immediate delivery of a test where a supervised group of candidates are assembled in one place (i.e. the test is invigilated, or proctored). This is referred to as running an invigilated test.
An essay interface with a familiar feel
ExamOnline makes it possible to move traditional paper-based assessments online, but with the added benefits that technology can provide. The on-screen test window automatically re-sizes to take advantage of the available screen area. The test is paginated for ease of navigation, shows the time remaining and the questions which have not yet been attempted. There is an accessibility panel which enables the candidate to easily change the background colour, the text colour, and the text size to best suit the individual.
In addition, essays, extended answers and hand-drawings are fully supported in ExamOnline. Candidates enter their essay or extended answer using an intuitive and familiar word processor interface, which supports formatting and cut and paste. Their work is automatically saved as they type. Candidates can include hand-drawn diagrams with their answer if required. They draw on pre-printed drawing sheets (downloaded from ExamOnline) which include a unique ID shown as both human readable text and encoded as a computer readable QR Code. Drawings are uploaded after the exam and automatically matched with the correct candidate and response by means of the ID printed on the paper.
Supporting human markers
For questions requiring human marking, ExamOnline supports both on-screen and paper-based marking. ExamOnline’s marking interface enables human-markers to mark ‘blind’ without knowledge of the individual candidate, and to insert comments at appropriate points within the candidates response. We find that around two thirds of markers prefer marking on-screen to on paper. For those that don’t, paper versions of the responses may be downloaded from ExamOnline in PDF format, together with a pre-formatted mark sheet.
Examination results and analysis
The ExamOnline Results App enables examiners to analyse the results of their tests in a number of different ways – in summary, in detail and graphically. Analysis of the effectiveness of individual questions, overall performance of the cohort, feedback on specific aspects of the course etc, are just some of the many ways that the results may be used. If desired, the results can also be easily downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.