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Improving the digital assessment experience for students

In our latest blog, Mark Newton, Managing Director at CoSector - University of London, talks about the key considerations when implementing digital assessment and how to provide a better experience for students during the shift to online learning.

A student doing an online assessment
Technical support must be on hand to help students that are late or cannot access the assessment, and even encountering problems when submitting answers.

Although the pandemic led to the closure of many university and college campuses across the sector, education couldn’t come to a standstill, it needed to continue one way or another.

A big part of the transition to online and virtual learning was ensuring that students could complete assessments and exams online and at a distance.

While there are a number of benefits of implementing digital assessment, institutions need to be aware of the key considerations. Adopting the correct learning environment and utilising a robust and accessible digital assessment platform will help institutions to succeed in this area.

Capacity is key to seamless assessment

No matter what platform you are trying to complete online assessments and exams on, whether it be Moodle, a dedicated assessment platform or another VLE, the user experience and ease of navigation is vital for students.

With hundreds or even thousands of students accessing the learning environment at the same time when completing an assessment, the system can often struggle to cater with simultaneous peak load causing delays for students.

To meet this demand in the number of students accessing the system at the same time, institutions need to increase capacity in the VLE to cope with the high attendance and improve the performance levels.

At CoSector we have supported a number of our customers by introducing other methods to support this such as setting up separate VLEs specifically for exams. The benefit of this is that any issues can be isolated and attended to much easier, as well as preventing the risk of interruption of the main VLE needed for teaching and learning. 

Offering a human touch at each step

While digital assessments can be made intuitive and run on a VLE students are familiar with using, there can be some issues that arise when using a dedicated assessment platform, particularly one that students may be using for the first time.

It is a good idea to have additional help and support available for students before, during and after completing assessments. Technical support must be on hand to help students that are late or cannot access the assessment, and even encountering problems when submitting answers.

Loss of connection or technical difficulties can be overcome with a dedicated assessment platform but in a small number of instances, answers may need to be recovered and submitted by the IT team or digital services partner.

Choosing a bespoke digital assessment provider

With our digital assessment partners Janison, we’re able to provide and deliver robust assessments to further and higher education institutions across a full range of question types.

The online assessment platform from Janison can be used with or without proctoring and provides a number of key benefits. While being able to complete assessments and exams digitally from home is a great benefit for students, internet connectivity and access are common issues.

The key feature of the assessment platform is that the exam will continue to run with video and AI proctoring even when the connection has been lost. This allows the student to continue the assessment without any interruption or issues and can submit the assessment at the end of proceedings when internet connectivity has resumed.

The need for digital assessment solutions and technology will continue to increase and offer a convenient and effective platform for students to engage in their learning. And with hybrid working and learning growing in popularity, giving students the choice between taking an exam online or in person will be key to improving the overall student experience. Get in touch with our digital learning team today to find out more on how we can help deliver digital assessment and solutions for online learning.

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