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3 Reasons Why Universities Should Consider Digitization for a Seamless Examination Process

Home » 3 Reasons Why Universities Should Consider Digitization for a Seamless Examination Process

3 Reasons Why Universities Should for Consider Digitization a Seamless Examination Process

3 Reasons Why Universities Should Consider Digitization for a Seamless Examination Process

Date: 02/01/2019 | Posted by: MeritTrac | Category: Government , Digital Evaluation , Education


Back in 2015, Thiruvalluvar University automated its entire examination system to conduct its final semester exams. Students’ marks were uploaded and scanned, for the first time in the university’s history. A total of 1,24,070 students of 110 affiliated colleges of the university appeared for the examinations. 

The university went a step further and digitized other processes, including admissions, fee payment, etc. to do away with paper and ‘go green’. Many such examples have mushroomed in the last few years where universities have attempted to improve their examination process through digitization

According to the Gartner Group’s 2015 Hype Cycle for Education, digital assessment is on the rise and is expected to speed up in the next five to 10 years.

So how does digitization really help universities in terms of enhancing their examination process

Here are 3 ways in which it streamlines the process.

Digitization of Education

Digitalization is the way forward for the education sector. Pedagogics has evolved from textbooks and blackboards to desktop computers, mobile devices, software applications, and other types of digital technology. 

The digitization of education has not only simplified knowledge transfer but has also made it possible to evaluate students and accurately assess the progress in their learning curve. 

Reasons for Digitization

Benjamin Franklin once said,

“Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” 

Through digitization, educational institutions can achieve this objective. The smart classrooms and the technology-aided teaching methods have not only made it easier for educators to teach better, but it has also helped students with different learning abilities to learn better. 

Here are the key reasons why there has been a transition and adaptation of digital technologies in the education industry.

  • Augmented Reality can help educators to capture the attention of students and explain concepts in an interesting way.
  • Improve understanding of subjects with the use of Virtual Reality tools that not only visualize ideas but also give elaborate examples. 
  • E-learning platforms with 24/7 access help students to interact directly with study material. 
  • Online platforms or communication channels can be used to coordinate with students, assign and evaluate homework, identify areas of improvement, provide feedback, and assist the students through personalized coaching.  
  • Digital tools can help analyze academic potential, learning pace, strengths, weaknesses of every student 
  • Organize and schedule online examinations
  • Conduct exam management from a single platform
  • Students can appear for exams even from remote locations, and examiners in different geographic areas can securely evaluate computer-based or paper-based tests.

Digitization Process

Digitalization streamlines classroom activities, be it taking classes or organizing examinations.

Digital Examination Process:

  • Radical improvement can be brought in the slow, time-consuming, and laborious paper-based exam process with digitization
  • Online assessment platforms can be used to conduct tests for schools, colleges, universities, and even competitive entrance examinations. 
  • The online platforms feature hundreds of tests and assessment with questions created by subject matter experts. These tests can also be customized with subject-specific questions as per requirement. 
  • The tests can be auto-evaluated based on set parameters or examiners with access to digitally encrypted answer scripts can conduct the evaluation with marking tools.

Paper Digitization:

  • Paper-based answer scripts can now be scanned and prepared for online evaluation. Once the examination is complete, the answer scripts are transported to secure warehouses where they are scanned, indexed, and digitally encrypted. 
  • The encrypted files are shared via email to examiners in any part of the country.
  • On-screen marking systems such as the one offered by MeritTrac lets examiners digitally mark the scanned answer scripts. 
  • This not only simplifies the task but also improves security and reduces the amount of money spend on logistics for answer paper distribution to examiners. 

Benefits of Online Examination System

1. Plan exams and evaluate paper scripts more efficiently

Planning and conducting large scale exams with a growing volume of paper scripts is a massive challenge. Organizing exams, ensuring security and evaluating them with credibility, is a labor-intensive, time consuming and error-prone process. Delays in evaluation turnaround time and increased costs are other roadblocks that concern testing bodies. 

Unsurprisingly, there is a growing push to digitize pen and paper answer scripts and mark them online to improve the quality as well as speed of marking. The added advantage: testing organizations are not limited to local evaluators. They can tap into a geographically distributed pool for rapid turnaround even during peak periods. 

Norway, with its Norwegian research and education network UNINETT coordinated a large national digitization project to enhance user friendliness and ensure better use of resources. Back home, leading educational institutions such as Mumbai University, Manipal University and Kerala Technical University have digitized their examination process to optimize results.

2. Reduce exam vulnerabilities

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exam paper leak was one of the biggest scams faced by the board. While the students were left in great dismay, a bigger question was raised around the credibility and competency of the education system of the country. 

Experts from the Indian education sector have suggested that it was time to embrace and implement digitization not only in exams, but even in elementary education. 

CBSE has moved ahead and partnered with Microsoft to create digitally encrypted question papers for standard X and XII examinations. The partnership aims to enhance data security and seamless distribution of exam papers. The exam process is automated and secured with encryption, two-factor authentication and access to download question papers only 30-minutes prior to the exam. 

Microsoft’s integrated software allows the Examination Controller to track the entire process. The success of the solution is paving the way for other educational institutes and testing bodies to leverage technology intervention in the end-to-end examination process.

3. Provide easy student access

Online grading allows examination bodies to host remote exams remotely and more efficiently. Enabling access to students at remote locations and ensuring exam integrity in far flung locations is a big bottleneck in the evaluation process in a large country such as India. 

Standford University’s paper makes the case for exam digitization and online grading. The paper outlines the many benefits of conducting online exams including easy student access and online evaluation of papers. 

It recommends methods that allow students to submit their exam papers for error-free evaluation and re-evaluation without the need for their physical presence.

The country’s education system has seen it all - from mundane challenges such as high costs and risk of human error to major disasters such as large scale examination leaks. 

It is time to turn towards digitization to find solutions that are already hinting towards growth at the global level. Innovative educational institutions and testing bodies can break new ground using emerging technologies to digitize the examination process and realize better outcomes in the process.

Conclusion

Learning can actually be fun with digitization. A digitization process simplifies the various academic tasks, especially examinations that are conducted every year. 

The major benefits of digitizing exams include saving cost, time, and efforts involved in preparing and printing question papers, assigning invigilators, arranging examination centers and classrooms, securing answer scripts, conducting bias-free evaluation, and on-time result publication. 

With digitized online examination systems, all these tasks are simplified, and their efficiency is improved.

The future of education is digitization, and MeritTrac facilitates digitization in education with its exam administration and management services.

MeritTrac supports paper-based tests, computer-based tests (CBT), and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR). We help testing bodies and educational institutions with end-to-end examination management services from creating online exams to evaluating results. Our examination solutions include application processing, pre-exam services, exam administration, Just In time question papers, on-screen marking solutions, and result processing

Sources:

  • Thehindu.com
  • Inthefieldstories.net
  • Theweek.in
  • Economictimes.indiatimes.com
  • Entrepreneur.com
  • Microsoft.com
  • CVGL.Stanford.edu

A robust combination of test-design and appropriate testing formats is critical for scientifically measuring competencies, and enabling valid, fair and reliable results.

MeritTrac’s comprehensive online assessments encompasses application processing, online test booking, and test center management

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