Transition to Online Exams - Tips and Techniques for Teachers
Transitioning from offline exams to an online exam mode can be hard for not only students but teachers too. The responsibility of creating a proper framework and making sure that everything goes smoothly falls on the teachers. The duty of the teachers is to oversee two things. First, students should be confident and prepared. Second, they should have well understood the process of giving online exams. Often, students take for granted the option of not having offline exams and resort to inappropriate ways to score well. There is no proper framework to monitor that. However, the most teachers can do is conduct exams in a way that both students and teachers benefit!
We are sure teachers must have done their own detailed research on online exams. However, we cannot deny that this phenomenon is new and we are bound to get stuck somewhere or the other. Getting stuck is normal. However, the need of the hour is to understand the various pointers that we as teachers can consider while preparing ourselves for conducting online exams.
Thinking "how do you conduct an effective online exam?" This blog has primarily been designed for teachers. It is a go-to guide to understand the Do's and Dont's of conducting online exams at their disposal.
Things to Keep in Mind before deciding to Conduct Online Exams
The first step is to evaluate if a final exam is still necessary for your course. The situation is unusual and if it is possible to make do with a project, viva, class participation or hands-on activity, go for that.
Understand that not all students will have a stable internet connection. You will either have to think of a backup for them or give them extra time than usual.
Be available before, during and after the exam for your students. Here, it is important for you to especially be present during the exam in case they may have any queries.
Try and incorporate only the important topic questions in your paper. Focus on elements that are core and give other short assignments for topics that are less important.
Students will be stressed especially during the first few of their online exams. Try to be as patient and flexible as possible.
Since most students may not be familiar with taking exams online. Make sure your instructions are easy to understand, specific and to the point.
Without a doubt, students are as nervous as we are. It is only fair to go easy on them. All you need to do is to make an attempt where you have enough material to grade students and on the other hand, students too are at ease while giving their exams.
Since the medium of conducting exams has changed, the structure of the question paper too needs to be designed in a way that suits the online platform. While creating the question papers, the key is to think more about the students than about yourself or the grades. Here are a few tips that if followed, will allow students to be at ease and allow you to test their understanding properly.
Tips for Creating Questions Papers/Exam Papers
To make students more confident, give them sample question papers and conduct a run-through of it a few days before the actual exam date.
Try and incorporate the majority of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) in your question paper. This will help students get options and make it easier for them to answer.
Make sure the questions do not require too lengthy answers, try and divide long answer questions into subparts or different sections altogether.
Focus more on conducting quizzes and quick tests instead of conducting 2-3hour long examinations.
Include a few questions that have earlier been discussed in class so that students gain confidence while giving the exam.
Frame questions in a way that they are easy to understand and do not have any difficult vocabulary.
Without a doubt, you know your class and students much better than we do. However, these are some universal tips and techniques that will help you not take too much stress about conducting online exams. While this is new for both you and your students, all they need is a little guidance and support from your side. Once they notice that you have handled this new phenomenon flawlessly, they will automatically gain the confidence of performing well through the online platform.
If you have already conducted online exams, can you give us some tips and techniques that we can share with other awesome teachers too? If this is your first time, what framework do you have in mind? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.