Students entering the University system today have grown up with technology. They are the first generation for whom the internet has always been there and they don’t know (and perhaps can’t imagine) a world without it.
This group, known as Generation Z, are often described as Digital Natives – the use of smart phones, tablets, social media and technology are entrenched in their daily lives and come naturally to them.
This is a generation who spend more time reading on screens than from books. A generation who are more used to typing, messaging and e-mailing than writing a letter or an essay in an exam. If they want to find out something they can, immediately and at a touch of a button or click of a mouse; their communications are instant.
This in turn has created a generation who needs and expects instant results. When it comes to seeking information or waiting for an answer they are not naturally patient. They are very used to having everything at their fingertips when and where they want it and exams are no exception.
And in some ways maybe they are right. This is the world we now live in – there is often a disparity between how today’s students learn – working digitally and online and how they are assessed via a written test or exam. Then, at the end of it they are expected to wait for results or feedback, this does not sit well with a generation used to instant gratification!
One of the benefits of the eSystem – Speedwell’s online exam software – is a Candidate Feedback feature which makes the ability to provide timely feedback a reality.
The feature allows you to provide students with a clear feedback report quickly and easily. Students can see how they performed, firstly in terms of their overall mark but also how they compared to others taking the exam.
It’s possible to see at a glance any areas of strength and, more importantly perhaps, weakness enabling a better understanding of where future revision efforts need to be concentrated.
The feedback can be top-level; giving summarised results on question categories, for example, or it can be detailed, providing feedback at an individual question level.
This tool could be particularly useful in formative assessments; to test knowledge and understanding at the end of a module or topic. At each individual question level feedback can be added, such as recommending a particular chapter to revisit or some guidance on some further reading. Having the option to view this feedback immediately at the end of a test or exam can ensure that the student stays on track throughout the course, and that any learning gaps can be addressed immediately.
Not only that but, instant feedback in formative tests can positively impact results in summative tests, as documented in two studies by Buchanan 2000. In these studies undergraduate psychology students took an online MCQ exam and received instant feedback. Both studies revealed that students who had used this package performed better in the end of course summative exam than those who did not.
The benefits of this feature to both the student and the institution are clear; better knowledge gives way to more effective learning and better results. And an enhanced experience for the student in turn leads to better retention rates. It’s a win-win.
To find out more about our eSystem and any of its features, or to view a demo, please contact our sales team on +44 (0) 1223 851703 or email email@example.com