6 top advantages of switching to online assessments

Online assessments are becoming more and more common within the world of education and learning. There are many reasons for their increased use. Whether you are ready to make the move, or are just starting to explore the idea, keep reading to discover our top 6 advantages to moving to digital assessments.

What are online assessments?

Firstly, what exactly are online assessments? Online assessments are the process of conducting computer or digital based tests to gauge a learner’s knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. These assessments are hosted online via a modern web-based software.

Lots of education providers have begun moving to exclusively online processes, but some sectors are slower to adopt these new technologies than others.

1. Online assessments improve security and include anti-cheating features

Compared to traditional paper-based exams, online assessments improve security. Firstly, the pressure of keeping completed exam papers secure and safe following the assessment and throughout the marking process is greatly eased.

Additionally, online assessment portals often come equipped with tools that detect suspicious exam activity. They often disable navigation controls, so learners are not able to access other apps or websites to search for answers. These are anti-cheating features that paper-assessments cannot provide.

Both of these factors ensure the integrity and quality assurance of your assessments, maintaining their validity and reliability.

2. Reduced administrative burden

Online assessments greatly reduce the administrative burden involved in running paper-based examinations. For example, booking onto the exam is simplified for learners, no printing is required, there is no reliance on the postal service and invigilation can take place remotely. All these factors allow for the assessment process to be simplified and streamlined leaving less room for errors or uncontrollable delays.

3. Quicker test results for learners and more efficient marking process

Online assessments are able to speed up the time it takes to mark examinations and provide results to learners. Not only can the time spent marking assessments be reduced by up to 50%, saving education providers invaluable time, but learners can sometimes receive their results instantly.

Therefore, online assessments offer a more efficient solution when compared with traditional, paper-based exams, for both learners and training providers.

4. Insights and analytics

Another benefit of online assessments is the ability to interrogate and analyse data. Online assessment tools make examination data analysis easier and more efficient, offering powerful insights. You can analyse the results of anything related to taking the online assessment, including how long the examiner takes to mark, the average number of marks awarded for a specific topic, or the length of time it takes for learners to answer a particular type of question.

The results from this analysis can provide insight into what actions you could take to make the online examination even more efficient and reliable, and improve the process for future learners.

5. Environmentally friendly

It goes without saying that online assessments create less waste that paper-based examinations. Lessening waste and its impact on the environment is a positive side-effect of making the move to a digital solution. When you also consider the carbon footprint of producing, distributing and collating paper-based assessments, it is clear the digital option will be kinder to the environment.

Training providers and learners also help to reduce the environmental impact as the need to travel to in-person assessments is removed. This also means training providers are freed up to focus on supporting learners at every stage of their journey.

6. Online assessments can be used to improve inclusivity and equity

Another great benefit of the move to online assessments is how they can improve inclusivity and equity for learners with varying needs and requirements. Ensuring fairness and accessibility in assessments is a crucial factor in maintaining trust among learners, wider stakeholders, and the public.

Online assessments can improve equity in a number of ways, including:

  • Improving access
  • Reducing bias
  • Improving accessibility
  • Reducing the physical barriers that could interfere with the learner’s performance.

Here at SFJ Awards, we are in the process of developing our own online assessment process. With all the fantastic benefits on online assessments for learners and training providers outlined above, we think now is the right time to begin this move to exclusively-online processes. We will be contacting all training providers in our network to begin each individual centre’s move to online assessments, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with the business development team on businessdevelopment@sfjawards.com.

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