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5 must-haves for online assessments
3. Intelligent Q & A options.
Assessment tools must offer good flexibility in terms of the types of questions or files that can be submitted, said Smetters, as “the needs of a computer science course are very different than those of history courses.”
“Some learners have to be assessed on specialized skills such as coding, spoken language skills, and other knowledge,” said Mettl. “A good assessment platform should be able to seal the gap between theory and practice.”
EdX recently introduced an artificial intelligence software to grade essays and short answers, made available free on the web. The same software will also give instant feedback and allow them to re-write the essay.
4. Good service.
“Network up-time is absolutely critical,” said Mettl. “Interruption of tests and loss of data owing to electricity outages, software crash, server trouble et cetera, are absolutely off-limits.”
Since everything is online, a great end-user experience is also one that involves no downloads, no installations and smooth access to learning via any internet-enabled device.
“Assessments should also integrate seamlessly into the online course rather than being conducted offline in separate test centers,” they said.
5. Credible analysis.
Good online assessments should be able to provide a comprehensive assessment with proper analysis and insight of the score reports,” said Mettl. “The insights should be clear actionable results showing micro analysis like average time spent on a question to macro analysis like comparison of pass/fail rate among different batches.”
The only downside to good assessments, however, even with auto proctoring, is in the cost.
“There is a cost to have effective online assessments,” said Smetters. “Grading an assessment can be time intensive if it isn’t automated. Implementing a system that prevents cheating can add to the cost, too.”
However, the cost may be worth it for any school or institution that would like its online learning offerings to be taken seriously.
“The biggest pitfall of disorganized assessment is, of course, its impact on the brand of the [school or institution],” said Mettl. “A certificate from an institute or school is more a testimony to the institute, not the candidate.”