In a recent study conducted by Inspera, 79% of students surveyed said that they preferred to take exams online rather than on paper. It’s no secret that many of today’s students are comfortable with using technology for everything from ordering food to learning languages and it seems that taking an exam is no exception. These learners particularly appreciate being able to take exams at home, saving paper and the ability to type quickly and easily edit work.
So how can digital assessment platforms facilitate flexibility, sustainability and an overall improvement in the test-taker experience? Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of digital assessment.
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Today’s students value a flexible approach to education (source) and online assessment platforms allow them to take exams on-site or remotely. Even beyond the pandemic, this gives institutions more flexibility to accommodate students who can’t attend the institution in person for a number of reasons. For example, because they’re located abroad or have needs or commitments that make it difficult to be on-site.
If your institution requires additional security for remote exams, Inspera offers secure browser and proctoring options that can be configured to your requirements. Importantly, all of these products integrate seamlessly so that students don’t need to deal with multiple passwords or systems.
In 2020, Students Organizing for Sustainability (SOS) conducted a survey that showed that “92% of students agree that sustainable development is something which all universities and colleges should actively incorporate and promote” (source). It’s clear that students care about the future of our planet and that they want to see positive change at their institutions.
The environmental impact of paper production has been recognised for decades (source) but many institutions still use hundreds of thousands of sheets every year for exams. Switching to digital not only saves paper but also eliminates the environmental impact of printing, transportation and storage. Donald Lancaster, Director of Studies at Bath University’s School of Management, said “For one student’s exam, one would need about 20 sheets of paper, and that would make about 0.041 kg CO2. That is excluding production, delivery, shipping, re-shipping, storage, and destruction. In contrast, 2 hours of laptop usage would be about 0.00007-0.00020 kg.”
Improved user experience
When it comes to using technology to assess student learning, systems must be clear and easy to use. Exams are already stressful for many learners and the last thing they want is to have to navigate a complex platform or wait a long time for feedback.
Inspera Assessment was designed with the student in mind and it provides a simple user experience so that test-takers can focus on doing their best work. For example, single-sign-on means that students don’t need to remember multiple passwords and then when they’re in the platform, they can take their test in a clean and easily navigable interface. After the assessment, there’s no need to collect and redistribute scripts. This, along with grading workflows, makes marking more efficient and allows students to get their results more quickly.
Today’s students expect their education to be flexible, stress-free and sustainable, and digital assessment platforms can support your institution in meeting these needs. To find out more about how Inspera Assessment can boost student satisfaction at your institution, you can download our free ebook with information about how you can improve the test-taker experience before, during and after the exam.