Online exam software

Conducting online exams is a common need in educational institutes these days. Whether you are a college or university or a training institute or a coaching class, and not having an online exam software, the thought of having one has already crossed your mind many times.

Typical challenges in implementing an online exam software solutions are -

  • Will a particular online exam software solution support all different types of tests and online exam scenarios which you want to conduct?
  • What all question types does the solution support? Many solutions restrict you to MCQs (multiple choice question) only.
  • Does the solution facilitate opportunity to enhance knowledge of participants, or is it just a online tests engine with automated grading?
  • …and more

There are many other hurdles, small or big, do not let you have your online exam software solution easily. Out of exhaustive experience of working in e-learning area, Signy’s e-learning solutions team can help you implement a comprehensive online exam software – either web based or intranet based; either as a custom application or built using Moodle.

Solution can support below types of scenarios of online tests

  • End-term exams, certification tests
  • Unit tests or mini tests for completing a small portion of studies or at the end of a module/ session/ trimester/ semester/ mid-semester etc
  • Exam practice using questions from past exams
  • To communicate immediate feedback about knowledge level achieved by the participant
  • For knowledge enhancement by self-assessment

Also, there can be scenarios due to geographical proximity or separation of participants –

  • A test may need to be conducted at same time and all participants should be sitting at one location next to each other
  • A test needs to be conducted at same time but participants are in different places
  • A test may not need all participants to solve it at same time but within a timeframe, say 2-3 days
  • A same test to be conducted but in batches

Types of online exams/tests which you can setup using this online exam software

You have complete flexibility of creating exams by setting up below mentioned parameters suiting your needs:

Scheduling of tests

  • Scheduled tests (all participants need to solve the test on given schedule only)
  • Always open tests

Question paper generation

  • Tests with fixed set of questions
  • Randomly generated question papers from a question bank
  • Tests generated with complex logic using categorization in question bank (for example, a test can be generated automatically with random questions, but that randomization can have a logic like below: a test of 20 questions based on 2 topics can be generated like this – 5 simple questions from topic 1 & 2 each, 2 medium-difficulty questions from topic 1 & 2 each, 3 difficult questions from topic 1 & 2 each.)

Shuffling of questions

  • Tests in which all participants get same questions in same sequence
  • Tests where each participant would get questions in completely different sequence (useful when multiple participants are expected to answer the test sitting next to each other)

Shuffling answers

  • Tests where answer options within the question appear in same sequence for all participants
  • Tests where each participant will get the answer options within a question in different sequence (no participant can pre-determine, based on input by other participant who have solved the test before, that answer of a particular question is option 1 or 2 or 3; useful in tests which are scheduled in batches)
  • Combination of shuffling of questions and shuffling answers questions makes typical exam malpractice almost impossible

Grading

  • Tests to be considered for grading/assessment
  • Tests not to be considered for grading/assessment (tests predominantly used for enhancing learner’s knowledge by self assessment)

Time limit

  • Time limit for solving a test
  • No time limit for solving a test

Test review

  • Immediate feedback after solving a question
  • Immediate feedback after completing the test
  • Immediately after completing the test and till the time quiz is open (in this case, selective feedback can be exposed without giving away correct answers)
  • No feedback till the time the test is open; allow viewing feedback immediately after test is closed (Elaboration: a test can be open for say 2 days, 15th & 16th July. All participants, who would be geographically in various areas, can take this test anytime within these 2 days. After 16th July, no participant can get to see this test. Participants who have solved the test can see the review/feedback of the test after 16th July.)
  • No feedback at all (for example, in case of a certification type of test or an entrance test, test conductors may not want give out the reviews/feedback.)

Attempts

  • Only single attempt
  • Multiple attempts – the number can be set (say, twice, thrice or ten times)
  • Unlimited attempts allowed
  • Extra restriction on attempts by setting up passwords or by enforcing delays (for example, allow next attempt only after particular number of minutes/days/weeks etc.

You can add following types of question in your online exam

  1. Multiple choice
  2. True/False
  3. Matching pairs
  4. Numerical
  5. Short answer
  6. Random short answer matching
  7. Calculated
  8. Calculated simple
  9. Calculated multi-choice
  10. Missing type
  11. Random
  12. Embedded answer
  13. Description Essay

Test creation features

  • Enable or disable the test with just a click
  • Bulk upload of question bank
  • Question order – as shown in screen i.e. by the order of questions creation or shuffled randomly
  • Answers orders within question – shuffled randomly or sequential as created
  • Submission grace period
  • Grading methods – highest, average, first, last
  • Layout definition – how many questions on one page
  • Navigation method – free or sequential


Test continuation in case of accidental exit

There can be scenarios where a test or the whole application can get terminated accidentally –

  • Electricity failure
  • Loss of internet connectivity
  • PC shutdown for reasons other than electricity failure
  • Server failure (rare, but still a possibility)

In such scenarios, this online exam software is capable of maintaining the last transaction and status of the test and allows continuing from where system had failed when logged in again.

Grade related features

Grade display types

  • Real (if set grades are in terms of marks, final grade will be presented in terms of number of marks, say 15 marks or 125 marks or whatever is real)
  • Letter (grade letter like A+, A-, B, etc can be configured in such a way that based on the marks achieved in the test, displayed grade will be a letter like A, A- or B etc)
  • Percentage (for example, if in a test of 200 marks student scores 150, it will be displayed as 75%)

Decimal places

  • Number of decimals can be specified (for example, grade can look like 90.15 or 90.2 or 90 if decimals are set in that way)

Grade aggregation methods

  • Mean of grades
  • Weighted mean of grades
  • Median of grades
  • Mode of grades
  • Latest grade
  • Highest grade
  • Lowest grade
  • Sum of grades

Keep the highest and/or drop the lowest grade

  • In case where multiple attempts are allowed for a test, grading parameter can be set for keeping the highest or dropping the lowest or both.

Enable or disable display of rankings in reports

 Grade report export formats

  • OpenDocument Spreadsheet
  • Text File
  • Excel File
  • XML File

Feedback/review features

Teacher/test creator/question bank creator can choose to configure below types of feedback while adding a question.

  • General feedback for a question
  • Feedback for each answer option based on the answer given by the participant
  • Common feedback for any correct answer
  • Common feedback for any wrong answer

Roles

Following roles can be created and can also be customized to certain extent:

  • Guest – a limited access can be given to this role just to give a quick idea about how online test portal works, can be useful for marketing purpose
  • Student
  • Back-office administrator – who can just get an access to create users and aggregate reports etc
  • Teacher – who creates tests, administers the tests, gives feedback, overrides grades; in short a teacher can manage complete academic angle of the tests
  • Manager – who is like the program manager who has all permissions except technical administration of the portal
  • Administrator – who has all the permissions in the system including technical administration of the portal

Question bank features

  • Unlimited categories and sub-categories can be created in the question bank – for example, categories can be Module 1, Module 2 etc and their sub-categories could be Topic 1, Topic 2 etc and their further sub-categories could be based on difficulty level of questions; say Easy, Medium, Difficult etc. A random test can be generated by applying a simple or a complex logic on categories and sub-categories.
  • Bulk upload of questions i.e. importing questions
  • Bulk export of questions

Benefits of this online exam software solution

  • One platform which can cater to all types of online exam needs and scenarios
  • In-built mechanism which restricts participants from typical exam malpractices like copying from others or carrying cheat-shits
  • In case of accidental termination of the tests, system allows to continue from the point of discontinuation
  • All major types of questions can be created
  • Comprehensive grading mechanism
  • Comprehensive reviews/feedback, highly effective for enhancing learner’s knowledge and overall experience
  • Highly flexible through extensive administration settings
  • Highly secure as all known security best practices will be followed
  • In future, this solution platform can be extended to common e-learning features like course management etc.
  • Easy to maintain, easy to back-up and restore
  • Can be implemented on web or on a local area network

For a complete e-learning portal solution, please visit E-learning.