A major on-screen assessments trial has recently been announced by AQA. Does this signify the realisation of the potential of online examinations and why is this?
Online learning and assessments have become increasingly popular since the pandemic and it has encouraged institutions to look at alternative ways of assessing learners.
Some students have even warmed to the concept of online assessments and learning due to several factors, but primarily because of the efficiency at which online exams can be completed.
“79% of students surveyed said that they preferred to take exams online rather than on paper.”
The main reason why students are preferring online exams is the fact that students can illustrate their true potential without the pressure of traditional exams. According to a study:
“51% of the 271 respondents believed online exams give students a better opportunity to demonstrate academic ability.”
In addition to this, not only can on-screen assessments be beneficial to the students, it provides enormous benefits to teachers and schools as a whole.
A significant reduction in teacher workload is achieved when using online exams due to less marking and less paper involved; it’s also a positive for the environment.
The trials involving 2,500 students from 100 schools will include adaptive assessments that progress in difficulty. This can offer a more personalised learning experience with instant feedback and potentially enhanced grades.
Colin Hughes, AQA’s CEO, said:
“Digital assessment can help better prepare students for future learning and work settings, and deliver a more personalised experience. It can even enable improved fairness, along with richer data on learning and achievement, and potentially faster accurate marking.”
Time for assessments to step into the future
With the return of traditional exams for the first time in three years, there has been the anticipation that exam results may dip. Students have lost out on a significant amount of learning, so could online assessments reduce students’ anxiety when completing assessments?
“Online proctoring revolutionised how online exams are conducted nowadays. It allows the candidates to take exams from the comfort of their homes. It eliminates the stress associated with travelling to an unknown place and taking the test in a large room with hundreds of other students.”
The AQA adaptive online assessments are a breakthrough in the education sector with the realisation of the potential that online education holds.
Schools and teachers have been working tremendously hard to ensure a maintained standard for their cohorts. Can on-screen assessments help improve their work-life considering the number of absent teachers putting increased strain on an already strained workforce? According to studies:
“Almost one in 12 teachers [are still] absent.”
However, there is also the issue of malpractice with on-screen assessments. Some students perceive online assessments as an easy avenue to cheat during assessments. But, if there was a locked-down application in place this could be easily dealt with and invigilating could be made simpler.. Online assessments demonstrate the awareness that the education sector is ready to make a leap forward and align itself with technological advancements.
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