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Partly due to the current pandemic, online exams have become a practical alternative to paper exams, potentially for the better. Online exam platforms give students the opportunity to perform well and achieve their targets.

A recently published paper reviewing online examinations found that:

“Today’s students prefer online examinations compared to paper exams (68.75% preference of online over paper-based examinations). [One reason] is the increased speed and ease of editing responses, with one study finding two-thirds (67%) of students reported a positive experience in online examination environment: ”

Learners need to clearly set out their targets to see where their focus lies. Online platforms can provide safe and secure examination environments with instant feedback and reports when used effectively.

The government’s education recovery tsar Sir Kevan Collins said:

“There’s a big discussion to have about the future of online exams. I think we need to move more quickly to assess online, because I think that is the future.”

Online exams can provide a portfolio of evidence for a student allowing them to clearly see their progression. They can help learners understand how they are performing and also highlight what needs to be improved and what further educational guidance is needed.

Data can be compared, tracked and reported to help them successfully complete their learning pathway.

The pandemic has forced education to adapt and conduct exams in a more practical way and online has become a viable option.

Online exams help break down barriers

Online exams can be tailored to suit every skill level to ensure that everyone can be assessed properly. Strengths and weaknesses of an individual can be identified in order to provide targeted assistance to help a learner develop.

Online exams can produce faster results which can result in quicker growth. A study on online exams in 2017 published in the International Journal of Information and Education Technology found that:

“77.5% of the total examinees liked the fact that they are able to receive results and feedback automatically after taking the test.”

According to the recent systematic review of online examinations:

“staff reported in a different study that marking digital work was easier and preferred it over paper examinations because of the reduction in paper.”

Online exams can be used for convenience, eliminating paper use and reducing time and effort put into paper marking.

Certain platforms can offer secure examinations ensuring students complete their exams fairly and supervised despite many believing them an easier route to cheat.

According to a May 2020 survey conducted by Wiley:

“Ninety-three percent of instructors think students are more likely to cheat online than in person. While locking a browser during an exam may help — about 15 percent of instructors take that step.”