‘How to conduct mock tests online’ – This is a common question in the minds of e-learning tutor these days. After all, a mock test has become an indispensable asset in the e-learning world.
We can see equal developments in both online learning and online exam spaces. With so many developments happening every day, the online learning industry is sure to flourish in the comings years.
Historically, students fear taking a test, and an online mock test didn’t change this perception. To change things for the better, it is your responsibility as a teacher to make their test experience better. For this, you have to be clear on how an online test platform works and the key steps to conduct these tests.
In this post, we will see how to conduct mock tests online.
Differences between a paper-based test and an online test
Till the last decade, the primary exam type was a pen-and-paper one. This approach changed with the beginning of the e-learning era. With a rapid growth rate of about 44%, the e-learning industry is sure to surpass the traditional teaching methodology within a few years. The reason for such rapid growth of online exams is their distinctive differences from their paper-based counterpart.
- The basic difference stands out in the usage of tools for the exam. A center-based mock test has a physical question booklet and an answer sheet, whereas there is only a single computer for taking an online mock test. The students of the present world, who are adept at using technology, will always prefer a computer over a paper to write a test.
- A paper-based test is bound by an important physical barrier – traveling to the exam center. Though some online tests might need the students to travel to the exam center, most tests can be taken from the comfort of their homes. All they need is a computer and an internet connection.
- Invigilating is an important part of any test. Invigilation in a paper-based exam is quite straightforward. It is all about the invigilator physically present in the exam hall while the students write the exam under his/her supervision. In an online mode, with both the supervisor and the students present virtually, proctoring is not that simple. However, to overcome such challenges, LMS companies have come up with the idea of online proctoring which easily prevents cheating in an online test.
The aforementioned are the 3 basic differences between an online exam and a paper-based exam. Clearly, the online test is better compared to the pen-and-paper based assessment due to its various advantages.
Tips to create a mock test
This post is predominantly about how to conduct mock tests online, but the first step is always creating the test.
Creating an online mock test is no easy task and takes a lot of effort to make it successful. The test should be created in such a manner that it assesses the students’ knowledge as well as help them to learn from it so that they could use it in the actual exam. It should also be easy for you to evaluate your students’ performance from the test.
Most tests are of two types –
- Descriptive writing test
- Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) type
The type of test you choose depends on the various skillset that you wish to test your students on. But here are some general tips to create an online test –
- Keep your instructions short and clear so that it can be easily understood by the students.
- Your instructions should not instigate fear in the minds of the students.
- Allow access to the test page before the start of the test, so that they get to know the user interface of the test platform.
- Frame questions in a simple manner. Language plays an important factor in any test.
- Provide close options in an MCQ test to avoid guesswork from students.
- Set the time duration of the test appropriately. Frame the questions in a way that all of them can be finished within the stipulated time duration.
Further Reading: Strategies to create effective mock tests
How to conduct mock tests online?
Let us now understand how to conduct mock tests online effectively and without any malpractice taking place. Malpractices are common among students and it is the responsibility of the tutor to ensure that no such mishaps happen.
Let us understand this section through the challenges that might occur in an online test and the ways to counter them.
Connectivity issues are always a menace in an online test. A simple connectivity loss for a few seconds can wipe off the entire test and create a need to start the test again. This is a serious issue for both students and the teachers and needs high precautionary action to be taken. Have a contingency plan in case any student faces a connectivity issue. Allow access to the test from the last attempted question instead of starting again from scratch.
The next step in conducting a successful mock test is the type of questions framed. Each question should be able to test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject. But more importantly, each question should be self-explanatory with adequate instructions so that an invigilator’s help is never required even for an unprepared student.
An online test is one of a kind where everybody is spread out geographically. Hence communication and instructions to candidates should reach them clearly and seamlessly. The only way to ensure an efficient communication channel is to put the instructions on the test page clearly. Information regarding the nature of the test, number of questions, time for each section, marking scheme, and any additional feature that students might need to use during the test, should be mentioned before the start of the test.
Security is a critical challenge in an online test. Ensure that your test has a login system that grants access to only those students with authorized credentials. Have a stringent auditing system in place that looks after the entire test process and gives proper feedback in case of loopholes.
We have reserved the most important concept of an online exam to the end. After all, no mock test is effective without an efficient proctoring system, whether it is a paper-based test or an online one.
The main purpose of proctoring is to prevent malpractices from happening and also to assist students in taking up the mock test without any hindrance. In the case of an online test, proctoring is all about test software using special tools to facilitate invigilation.
There are 3 types of proctoring systems available –
- Live Proctoring – As the name suggests, it is about viewing the students writing the test in real-time. This is done using the web camera attached to the student’s computer.
- Recorded Proctoring – This is almost similar to live proctoring, the only difference being, the session is recorded and the invigilator views the recording of the test only if it is needed.
- Advanced Automated Proctoring – This is again the same as recorded proctoring with an added functionality of detecting any suspicious activities using advanced video and audio analytics.
Learnyst is one of the most powerful LMS in the country with access to various advanced technologies that help in conducting mock tests efficiently and easily. It is a complete package where you can create your own courses, market them along with the test creation process. To know more about Learnyst or how it can help to create and conduct tests, click here.