How to Select the Best Assessment Platform for Higher Ed?
A blog by Neha Nougai, Presales Consultant, Excelsoft
Assessments are central to learning for any higher-ed program, offering educators the data to enhance learning, define goals, and promote institutional change. Without the right software, gathering this data can be laborious and time-consuming, so you must ensure that your software can meet your requirements.
The global pandemic gave rise to a shift towards online and blended learning, leading to a surge in digital assessment platforms. Understanding how these solutions can add value to the learning process at your institution is imperative.
Let’s first understand what digital assessments are before delving into any details.
Digital Assessment is the application of digital technologies to create, deliver, grade, report, and manage examinations to assess students’ learning. They can be used as remote, online assessments or in-person deployments on campus. Whether digital or analog, the goal of assessment remains evaluation for effective learning and credentialing.
Why higher-ed institutions are increasingly adopting digital assessments
- Save time and effort: Automated grading simplifies evaluation and takes less faculty time, allowing more time for instruction and learning. Depending on the class size, commercial off-the-shelf software have shown to save grading time by 30% to 50% on average.
- Advanced capabilities: A good assessment platform offers educators complex workflows for collaborative authoring, the capability of tagging questions, question-level analysis, management, and more.
- Formative Feedback Opportunities: A frequently cited advantage of online assessment is the ease with which detailed feedback can be provided to students. Feedback can be provided on time and frequently in various formats, including written, audio-recorded, and video-recorded.
- Accessibility and Flexibility: Both students and teachers value how accessible online tests are. Instead of being forced to work within the confines of a classroom, students have more freedom in approaching their assignments because they can decide when and where to complete them. Students with jobs, family obligations, or other reasons that may limit their capacity to be present on campus may feel greatly relieved.
It should come as no surprise that an effective assessment platform may help your institution tremendously. Selecting the ideal software is a complex choice. For easy integration and quick results, you should consider a few crucial criteria when selecting the assessment platform.
What features should be considered for choosing an e-Assessment platform?
- User-friendly interface: The interface of the assessment platform needs to be user-friendly. An intuitive and simple-to-use platform is favorably perceived by both educators and students. The assessments must be simple for the candidates to interact with and complete. For educators, it should be easy to create and evaluate the tests and generate results instantly.
- Rich media support: The platform should enable creating questions with rich media (e.g., audio and video-based assessment, Geometry, Mathematics, Scientific Equations, and more) to make assessments more engaging and effective.
- Enhanced Security: The platform must offer a high level of security to prevent candidate malpractices. The integrity of an online test can be ensured by using screen, audio, and video proctoring. The platform should also be secured so that the data is not exposed to any vulnerability.
- Accessibility Standards: The platform should adhere to mandated requirements for accessibility, such as 508 accessibility guidelines and WCAG 2.0 Level AA requirements.
- Multi-language compatibility: The platform should offer compatibility with regional languages, regardless of the standardization of the language, to make it accessible for both educators and students.
- Reporting and Analysis: The platform should offer comprehensive reporting and analytics to provide educators with rich diagnostics and support for student remediation.
- Availability of technical support: In addition to assisting students in self-regulating their learning, timely support enables instructors to feel confident and competent using e-learning tools. Technical support can be offered on-campus or through active platform support.