How to Transfer from Paper-Based to Online Exams
Governments and testing organizations worldwide have had to determine whether or not to transition from paper-based exams to proctored online examinations due to the social distancing measures put in place to prevent the unfolding of coronavirus (COVID-19).
If a traditional summative exam is required in your class, these suggestions can help you and your students have a better online test-taking experience.
1. Find a Software that Fully Supports Your Paper-Based Examination Scenario
COVID-19 forced many organizations to bypass having computer-based testing in test centers and move directly to online test-taking. It is a struggle that exam papers cannot be literally copied into some software.
Challenges that test makers face include tests integrity and security, an environment that is no longer standardized, and a lack of time to develop appropriate proctoring and security protocols.
Choose software that
- is flexible and easily adaptable to any exam structure (i.e., one or all questions per page, having sections within the test, containing a text editor, supporting various multimedia files, etc.).
- imitates a real-life test organization that functions via exam booking, cancellation, and reschedule. YouTestMe e-Testing Centre is a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that provides a fully outsourced service for developing and delivering high-stakes certification exams. More in How to Organize Exam booking video.
- has a user-friendly interface, since the main aim of technology is to simplify the process, simultaneously simplifying our lives too. There is no point in investing in technology difficult to understand or handle.
- is easily accessible – a test-taker should have the freedom to use it from anywhere and anytime with just a computer and an internet connection. The whole system should be completely web-based for candidates with no compulsion to install or download the software.
- is a hybrid solution that supports the import of paper-based tests in addition to online assessments, in the case your transition is gradual and some of your students still prefer traditional examination.
2. Small Steps: Paper-Based Testing and Online Test Management
Still, suppose you do not want to move immediately to online test-taking. In that case, you may first begin keeping records in the online examination system and leave your students taking the paper exam.
Create your tests efficiently using a test generator, export them to a print-ready PDF and distribute them to candidates via email or in paper form.
YouTestMe GetCertified can also generate answer keys, which can help you quickly evaluate paper-based tests.
- Create sample paper-based test and generate answer key to simplify test evaluation
- Add images to questions and answers
- Grade paper-based tests manually using answer keys and store the results in YouTestMe GetCertified
- Grade paper-based tests automatically using OMR/OCR bubble-sheet scanner
3. Make Sure that All Rules and Directions are Clear and Detailed so that Students Know What to Do
Test-takers are perhaps faced with this kind of assessment for the first time. Therefore, you have to make sure to prepare them appropriately.
- Provide information, such as a list of the exam’s learning objectives, the number of questions to expect, the amount of time they will have to complete the exam, whether they can save, and finish later are all factors to consider.
- Students should be able to return and double-check their work, as well as skip a question they’re not sure about and come back to it later in the test.
- Allow a grace period for submission (e.g., 15 minutes) to account for any Internet outages or technological issues.
- Make it clear to students how they can communicate with you during the exam by email or another method of your choosing. You can also employ the YouTestMe support team only during the examination period to assist your candidates instead of you.
4. Prevent Cheating in Online Exams
Since evaluation and tests are carried out from our homes’ comfort, cheating naturally became a modern-day plague. Finding an all-encompassing solution that can allow you to stay one step in front of witty candidates is difficult, but not impossible.
The chosen software should be able to:
For more tips, read How to Prevent Cheating in Online Exams.
5. Organize and Provide a Practice/Trial Run of the Online Test
- You can construct a brief (5-question) example exam for students to complete
- Consider including one or two questions from the real exam. Students may be more motivated to complete the practice example if they are aware of this.
- This trial should be completed a week or two before the exam
- If the official exam is proctored, you should enable the proctoring for trial as well for candidates to get familiar with an equipment check
6. Hire Professionals to Do All the Work
Consulting with similar organizations that changed is also a good place to start. You’ll be able to pick up on any errors they made along the process.
However, an even better option is to hire a team specializing in providing professional services.
If you need a hand in test design and delivery, candidate organization, and other processes involved in the transition from pen & paper to computer-based testing, contact YouTestMe Customer Success Team.
Since time is money, and we are aware that organizations sometimes can be way too consuming, our team manages the complete testing process, so you can focus on your core business.
6.1. Free Consultations
With over 30 years of experience, the YouTestMe team can independently manage each step and guarantee secure large-scale assessments.
We would be glad to share our customer success stories and various examination scenarios regarding the transition from paper-based to online exams. We offer free consultations as a call or online meeting, where we learn more about your desired scenario, and you can learn more about our services.
Feel free to contact us.
7. Inspect and Make Changes if Necessary
There are different types of learners, so ensure that students have access to support if they have questions or concerns during the transition.
If you’re unable to help them, the YouTestMe support team can be hired for your candidates and, depending on the support package, the response can be immediate, and you can have a dedicated phone line
After the initial implementation, ask for comments directly, ideally throughout surveys. YouTestMe GetCertified survey module allows you to easily collect data and provides advanced reporting tools. You will construct suitable evaluations for your students by asking them what they think and then acting on their comments If necessary.
While technology improves processes for educational institutions, educators, and students, it is not limited. On the other hand, choosing the right software developing company that provides an online examination platform can help you avoid disadvantages by providing a secure e-testing center while also taking your data protection seriously.