E-assessment, in a broader sense, is defined as the examination method used in online degree programs. The broad definition encompasses a wide array of student activities that start from using word processors and end in on-screen examination. E-assessment has become an integral component of the e-learning methods commonly used by the online colleges and universities across the world. Some of the US based colleges have pioneered the trend of assessing the skills and knowledge of the students through online testing methods. Computer-aided classification testing and computer-aided adaptive testing are two specific types of e-assessment methods. Both practical and cognitive abilities can be tested through these methods. What are the crucial elements of these methods? How advantageous they are for a student? Let’s explore.
Components of e-assessment
An e-assessment method is generally comprised of two main components, an engine for assessing the skills and knowledge of the examinees and an info bank. An engine is meant for creating and delivering a test. Many online business degree colleges conduct tests using third-party software programs. The software generally fetches the questions and all other assessment items from the info bank wherein all the information is stored. The test method is essentially different from the pen-and-pencil testing methods. The methods are intended for evaluating the knowledge of the students in an interactive way. The method encourages the students to apply their skills and knowledge and enhance their cognition through the examination as well.
Advantages of e-assessment
The online degree programs have many advantages compared to the traditional paper-based examination methods. This is why learners worldwide picking up these degree programs and not opting for the on-campus cousins of these courses. These advantages include but not limited to:
- Lower costs: These methods do not require the examinees to travel to and fro the examination hall and save cost in many other ways.
- Better interaction: Students can instantly get the feedback of their submitted papers and all other materials and this paves the way for enhanced interaction between the teacher and the learner.
- Flexibility: These examination methods used in online degrees are extremely flexible and can be conducted irrespective of time and location constraints.
- Flawless evaluation: Machine marking is far more accurate than human marking.
- Impartiality: An e-assessment machine is unbiased at all times and demonstrates utmost impartiality while checking the assessment papers.
Moreover, the students can appear in tests using multimedia channels and advanced technologies. These days, even online criminal justice degree tests are also conducted using these advanced assessment methods.
A perfect example of e-assessment
Formative assessment procedure which is also termed as Online Formative Assessment or OFA is a perfect example of an e-assessment method. In this method, the incorrect answers are first singled out and the teacher explains the students how these questions should have been answered. The examinees are then provided with slight variations of the questions and they attempt again to answer those questions. This way, the online degree programs create more space for learning. The structure is formative in essence and the objective of the exam is not to dishearten or criticize the students, but to facilitate them to learn in a better and smarter way.