The time, effort and associated costs dedicated to running multiple choice and OSCE exams within veterinary schools is high. To stage these assessments extensive time and input is needed from a skilled team of administrators, question authors, course assessors and so on. Traditionally the costs associated with running these exams has been accepted unconditionally – as they are such a necessary part of the assessment process that the assessments are widely agreed to be cost effective.
However, today veterinary schools are increasingly facing the dual pressures of reduced budgets (or at least budgets that are not increasing with inflation or face considerable uncertainty) as well as increased costs in terms of salaries and pensions, consumables, OSCE venues etc. So how can modern exam management software free up time for all involved in assessment without impacting on the validity of the assessment? And free up time so that administrators and others can focus on other key education tasks?
Using exam management software, such as Speedwell’s eSystem, there are a number of ways that you can save time behind the scenes of your veterinary exams without compromising on outcomes:
- Exam management processes. Our exam software enables you to create, administer, run and analyse your exams all within the same online exam management platform. The easy-to-use software lets your question authors manage their contribution from wherever they are and the combination of lifecycle workflow and version control gives administrators the ability to manage the question and exam authoring process in a highly effective manner. Gone are the days of administrators managing question edits from authors in word documents or via email, managing candidate lists manually or manually determining the pass mark.
- eMarking and mandatory exam checklist completion. Multiple choice exams are marked in seconds – in a click of a button following the assessment. The speed and accuracy of this functionality can’t be topped. When running eOSCEs, examiners enter their marks into either an app offline or online. When using either option there is no need to review borderline candidates post exam, as the examiner cannot move onto another candidate during an exam without completing all the mandatory fields. This contrasts with paper OSCEs, where a time consuming manual check of marking papers is required to rule out any examiner oversights.
- Run your exams where and how you like. Having the freedom to choose how and where you run your exams can influence your cost structure. For example, using eSystem software for your eOSCEs mean that you are no longer limited to choosing assessment sites that have wifi. With the eOSCE app, OSCEs could be run at farms without internet connectivity for example. And when it comes to multiple choice exams, they can be run in either secure or non-secure mode. The secure mode prevents access to hard drives, the internet and other files. Running multiple choice exams in this mode gives you the assurance that you’re not going to spend precious time managing exam cheats, the associated mandatory reporting and reputational damage limitation.
- Reporting and feedback. Sophisticated analysis and reporting streamlines post exam processes. eSystem exam software creates all the vital reporting statistics and analysis on each question, exam and candidate at the press of a button. The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies has adopted eSystem software for their MCQ and OSCE assessments and this is their observation about the time saving nature of the analysis tools – “What the eSystem has given us is more time – we can now see at a glance where improvements needed to be made, whereas before we either didn’t have the data or had to work it out manually – and that could take some time cobbling it all together.” Being able to provide candidates feedback reports from either one exam or over a number of exams allows candidates to identify and remedy any areas of concern and course assessors are able to use the reports to see exactly which questions fine tuning so that the exams are assessing what they are designed too.
Exams are complicated by their nature – but with leading exam management software, on your side, you can do more with the time you have without compromising on the quality of the exams. Watch this short video to get an overview of eSystem software or get in touch for more info.