“Technology will never replace great teachers, but in the hands of great teachers, it’s transformational.” – George Couros
6 reasons to switch to digital assessments and e-marking
Here are the Reasons Why Switching to Digital Assessments is Crucial
Digitalization has become an inevitable evolution in the modern era. There is always a need for change, but there are some factors that catalyze the transition. Let’s get into the detailed study of the key reasons behind a stimulated shift to digital assessment and e-marking.
Technology has become a part of our lives like never, as we live in the age of digitalization. Our everyday tasks have become simpler – thanks to technical developments. There is a diminishing demand for human intervention in the processes that can continue without it.
Digital devices have invaded our daily lives. They started from desktops, slowly crawled their way up to our laps and then into our palms. The breakthrough happened when this palmtop gained unlimited access to high-speed internet.
E Marking & online examinations should be a part of the assessment process. Not only would online marking prove to be one of the best tools for teachers, but digital assessments would also benefit the students immensely. Surprisingly, digitalization has still not been made an integral component of the educational system of Pakistan, given the benefits it offers.
Here are six reasons that render the digitalization of examination as the ultimate option.
1: Administrative Burden Alleviation
The switch to digital assessments guarantees cost reduction by minimizing logistics costs in the following ways.
- Answer scripts do not need to be sent to the teachers or a marking center.
- Zero data entry cost as all marks given to students are automatically captured, added, and results are compiled
- Syndicate marking is carried out automatically; this means in case of unavailability of an e-marker, the next question will be allocated to the next available e-marker without breaking the cycle, which often is a barrier in manual syndicate marking. This optimizes the human resources engaged as markers.
- By auto-masking answer scripts, examination boards can save a great deal of money as they have dedicated departments and staff for this purpose.
Remote proctoring takes the edge off the examination cost. It relieves the examination bodies from the administrative load, removing the requirement for on-site invigilators and testing centers, resultantly, in saving time and money.
2: Collaborative Examination Design
Educators can come together virtually and design the assessments without the need to coordinate through in-person meetings. They can even collaborate with partners, clients, and other stakeholders, without being online simultaneously, through the online dashboard on their respective portals.
3: Online Assessment Tools
The marvel of digitalization is that we now have a range of digital solutions to revamp the entire assessment lifecycle. From item generation to remote proctoring software, all aspects of the assessment process are covered. These solutions help optimize the material and human resources for all stakeholders.
E-Marking is a combination of digital and non-digital ways. The hard copy of the answer sheet is scanned and then made available on the online platform for marking. The teacher assesses and marks the answer scripts using the marking software. Rubric-based marking ensures impartiality. Using the online assessment tools, answer scripts are digitally stamped. The result is generated in a single click, omitting any chance of human error.
b. Digital Item Bank Development
Once a test is designed, the questions are collected in a database. The pool of questions is created by remote authoring. The item bank generated may be reused in the future. Banking test questions can help produce mock tests to facilitate students’ preparation. The record may further be used to analyze and refine the assessment questions.
c. Remote Proctoring
In any event of student queries or cheating, while using the remote proctoring software the online supervisor follows the SOPs that may involve connecting to the teacher or raising a flag for the teacher to check later. Moreover, an administrator can keep a check on each individual involved in the assessment lifecycle.
4: Increased Accessibility & Scalability
Digitalization encompasses all sorts of students whether they have some disability or inability preventing them from taking part in an examination. It gives them a fair chance of participating in any examination. Similarly, teachers may also monitor and mark exams from any feasible location. Thus, it facilitates both the examiner and the examinee.
Digital exams allow teachers to reach a large audience simultaneously. The same exam can target an unlimited number of students without the need for multiple supervisors. Thus digital assessments can be scaled globally.
5: Creation of Intriguing & Engaging Assessments
In the multimedia option, digital assessment tools may be used to develop interesting and challenging questions for the students. The educational techniques used for students before we entered the 21st century were different but optimal for that time. However, those same techniques are not suited for the digital era. The introduction of new education techniques employing technology at each step is required to capture the attention of the over-occupied minds of today’s age.
6: It’s Eco-friendly
Remember Greta? The environmental activist challenged the world leaders to take action. Well, it’s time to listen to Greta. Go digital to protect the environment. Digital assessments and e-marking will not only reduce paper consumption, but will also aid in protecting the forests, and mitigating the climate crisis.
We are exposed to a lot of information, the accessibility is insane, and having five windows open at once, multitasking is the norm. Twenty-four hours make a day, yet it appears as if we can gain more knowledge than ever before. We must understand that today’s students are eager to learn new and fascinating things, but it is a daunting task to capture their attention. A reform in the education system is, therefore, necessary.
Given this long list of advantages that e-marking and digital assessments offer, it is shocking that the educational system of Pakistan is still lagging.
The education system should align with the demands of changing times since it has to produce the professionals that will lead the future. The assessments need to be smarter, so to reap the fruits of digitalization, the much-needed switch to e-marking, and online exams is a must.