5 Ways You Can Use Open LMS Online Exams to Your Institution’s Advantage
The days of high-stakes, paper and pencil examinations are numbered. Like everything else, high-consequence testing is moving to the digital world. In many cases, in-person proctoring is becoming less necessary as online exam software advances. Digital testing also allows results to be returned to students more quickly than in-person, physical exams. That means less waiting and wondering for your students.
Digital testing does more than bring convenience to students. Open LMS Online Exams offer efficient solutions for a variety of use cases. Below, we’ve outlined five examples of how using online exams can benefit your institution.
1) Securely and Efficiently Make Admissions Decisions
Requiring an entrance examination prior to admitting someone to a program of study is a widely-accepted practice among learning institutions and high-consequence professions. After all, it’s important to know if the prospective student meets the baseline requirements that indicate they'll be likely to complete a rigorous curriculum.
Such high-stakes assessments need to be secure as well as efficient. For some institutions, hundreds of thousands of applicants could be taking the assessment during the same testing window. Online exams make administering and evaluating assessments a more manageable task.
This happened to be the case for a government agency in South America that requires all citizens to complete and pass a standardized test for high school graduation. In addition to mathematics, citizenship competencies, language skills, and specialized topics based on the student’s field of study, the exam measures the quality of education in the country. It’s also used as a baseline to determine examinees’ admission eligibility for higher learning institutions.
With hundreds of thousands of students taking the exam each year, the agency made the decision to switch from an in-person testing model to fully online exams. Open LMS Online Exams provided the agency with the large-scale service it needed to accommodate more than 300,000 examinees. Test-takers received a secure and consistent testing experience online—including exam proctoring provided by Sumadi.
This success story is just one example of how online exams can be used during the admissions process.
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2) Cut the Cost of Awarding Certifications Without Cutting Corners
Even after a student completes a program of study, it’s highly unlikely they’ll land their first job without also obtaining a certification. Such is the case with the medical, educational, and judicial fields—just to name a few!
These certifications are usually administered by state-accredited institutions, if not by the state itself. Hosting such a certification exam in person has traditionally required a secure testing facility and trained proctors to maintain testing integrity.
Since students complete their training programs at different intervals, it’s also common for them to take their certification exams at various times of the year. Depending on the type of certification being sought, a testing center might only see one or two examinees in a day. Keeping proctors on retainer and maintaining testing centers for only a handful of examinees at a time gets to be an expensive endeavor for the institutions providing the certifications.
This was the case for an accreditation body in Mexico that deals in judicial certifications. The institution decided to move its exams online to save costs. They administer over 5,000 exams each year, holding them throughout the year. When the body made the decision to begin eliminating physical testing centers and in-person proctors, Open LMS Online Exams gave the institution the security they needed to ensure that examinees truly earned their certification.
The service also gave the accreditation body detailed reports about the examinees’ performance. This data allowed the institution to make data-driven decisions for future certification tests.
With online exams, institutions can securely assess examinees’ readiness to practice a profession whenever and wherever they need to.
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3) Determine Learners’ Knowledge and Program Effectiveness With Summative Assessments
All learning programs, whether for academic or corporate gain, end in a summative assessment to determine to what degree the participants have learned the material. Hand-written exams can take an instructor hours, if not days, to evaluate.
Online exams drastically reduce evaluation time, so examinees can know right away how they’ve done in a program, and instructors can focus more time on creating engaging learning experiences.
A South American university opted to use online exams in order to ease the evaluation burden for its staff during the summative assessment period at the end of its academic term. The university entered into a one-month contract with Open LMS in order to take advantage of the online exam product in a cost-effective manner. During the testing period, the university had access to the full range of online testing features, including secure proctoring and product support.
The university was able to provide summative assessments to more than 3,500 students during that time. They were able to administer multiple assessments based on the users’ areas of study. The university also enjoyed full access to student performance data.
The online exams saved their teaching staff countless hours of evaluation time while providing the university with the data they needed to determine how well students were performing and the effectiveness of their learning experiences.
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4) Retain Proof of Compliance in Your Industry
It’s essential for high-consequence industries to remain compliant, and employee training is the main way that organizations go about this. Alongside maintaining an understanding of existing laws, ensuring that your people are aware of changes to the law and updated best practices is crucial for everyone’s safety.
Take, for example, the airline industry. Pilots and other airline employees must keep up to date with current laws and operating standards in order to maintain the safety of their passengers. If they don’t, the results could be catastrophic.
Completing such education is critical, but taking airline staff out of the sky for lengthy in-person training and evaluations puts an additional burden on an already-strained industry. Instead of requiring airline staff to put their regular job duties on hold while they sit for a formal, in-person evaluation, employees can complete convenient, digital training and use online exams to prove their understanding of compliance.
These high-consequence industries also require very specific compliance training. What works for airlines isn’t going to necessarily apply to healthcare professionals. Open LMS Online Exams offer solutions that are tailored to an organization’s specific needs to ensure that everyone is evaluated fairly and can prove they are staying current and compliant with their education. This allows them to continue to provide their services in the safest possible manner.
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5) Get the Right People in the Right Places With Classification
It’s good to be aware of everyone’s progress and performance levels within your institution. Having this data helps you recognize and encourage your highest performers. It also allows you to put measures in place to assist those who need some extra support. This goes for not only your students, but your staff as well. Online exams provide you with analytics that quickly make these classifications for you.
A higher learning institution might use online exams to determine appropriate course placements for new enrolling students, ensuring they’re being adequately challenged academically. For example, the institution would develop and customize its own entrance exam that includes assessment items measuring skills in mathematics or foreign language. The institution could then use participants’ answers to classify students according to the courses that are most appropriate for their skill levels.
From there, the institution would enter a short-term contract with Open LMS Online Exams to administer its assessment. Examinees would have a flexible testing window while the contract is active in which to take their assessment. This way, the learning institution can get the data it needs without inconveniencing its prospective students.
The results of the assessment would allow the institution to quickly classify instructors based on their digital learning knowledge and use. With these classifications, the institution can take appropriate measures to ensure that those in need of additional training and support are able to receive it. Likewise, the institution can use the classifications to identify high performers as potential mentors to employees needing extra training.
In this way, classification groups from online exam data can be used by institutions and organizations to make a number of decisions meant to improve their operations.
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A Digital Future
Online learning and assessment technology will only continue to advance. The organizations and institutions that choose to invest in this technology will place themselves ahead of the rest in their ability to provide users with the best possible testing experiences—and Open LMS can help.
Whether you are an academic institution looking for more convenient ways to assess students’ knowledge, an accrediting body that needs streamlined processes for certifying new professionals, or a corporation that needs to maintain employee and organizational compliance standards, Open LMS Online Exams has a solution tailored to meet your needs.