When considering investing in exam software, there are a number of considerations specific to exam tech that you may wish to consider upfront. After all, the software you select is likely to be used for a number of years and will be used by a large number of students and assessors alike – and the role it will play across your institution will be significant. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Paper and online exam delivery. Higher education institutions and departments have traditionally delivered paper exams for their formative and summative assessments. With the increased adoption of eLearning systems campus wide, there is a move among many institutions to move their assessments online too. Effectively aligning assessments with how students like to learn. However, the reality for some institutions and campuses with limited space to establish large computer lab facilities or limited funds, means that the migration to digital assessments may need to take a more tempered approach and happen progressively over a number of years. It is entirely possible to get all the benefits of sophisticated exam management software and retain the choice of both digital and paper exam delivery.
- Choose a solution that allows you to scale up as the number of students that are being assessed change. As more departments embrace digital assessments one exam management programme should be all you need – and scaling up can be as simple as firing up another database. This, once again allows for a progressive rollout over a number of years, if that is what is required. And of course the benefits for the IT team when managing one vendor brings other advantages such as one point of contact and simplified management.
- Multiple question types. Many higher education institutes have multiple departments testing a range of knowledge and skills. Finding software that is capable of assessing multiple choice, single true/false, short written answer and other formats as well as OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exams), or practical exams should be a major priority.
- Single sign-on. A few years ago it was more common for students to have different credentials for various applications related to university life. But as technology has become more sophisticated, students now expect a seamless experience.
- Cloud hosted or self hosted. The direction your institute will choose is really dependent upon your cloud strategy. However, having the choice is useful. If your organisation is at the beginning of its journey to the cloud, choosing exam software that gives you the ability to move from a self hosted to cloud hosted solution, as you move more and more software and applications gives you greater flexibility.
The above points are worth keeping in mind when seeking to future proof your exam software investment. If you want to see how Speedwell’s eSystem’s future proofed design can help you, get in touch today.