Online Assessments may have been on the agenda for your institution for a while. There might be several reasons why the time has not been right to change your exam processes. Time constraints, budget concerns and internal resistance are commonly cited reasons for staying with the status quo.
Whilst you could create a business case and we can give you many examples in our Case Studies of how our customers save time and money. We understand that it may be harder to gain acceptance of a changing process if the resistance is coming from a different place.
Perhaps there is hesitancy because stakeholders consider things to be working well. There could be fear of moving away from a process that has been used effectively for years. Overcoming the ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’ mentality can be hard. After all, it’s human nature to be fearful of the unknown or be nervous about learning new processes.
It could be that there is a perceived level of extra work. Or concerns over how the department will find time to learn and implement a new system, without negatively impacting students.
Although, we often talk about the benefits using our eSystem software can bring to your exam processes, we don’t often talk about how we help ensure you have a smooth transition to online assessments. So, here we’d like to take the opportunity to do that.
First and foremost, we want to reassure you that we’ll offer you all the support you’ll need to get started. In this article, we’ll outline the steps we typically take in our onboarding process.
Our contact with a potential customer often starts with one or more in-depth and personalised demonstrations of the eSystem. We’ll gain an understanding of your exams, candidate numbers as well as your vision for the future. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions, so you can be confident that it meets your online examination needs.
We’ll provide details on how the eSystem works with existing systems and processes to save time in the set-up process. For example, the ability to import questions from existing question banks, our API that allows you to use exam data in other systems and LDAP integration that simplifies high-volume candidate management.
Additionally, it’s at this stage that any technology and infrastructure needs will be identified. We’ll discuss hosting options (self-host or let us host). If you’re self-hosting we’ll provide a detailed specification for server requirements and information on anything else that’s required.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we’ll establish key contacts, roles and responsibilities. This ensures the right information gets to the right places promptly.
After purchase, we’ll quickly get you set up with the eSystem, so that you’ll be ready to run online assessments in no time.
Our support team will be in touch to introduce themselves and also to agree on a URL for your eSystem. We’ll then get working on creating your eSystem, configured with the elements you’ve purchased. If you’ve chosen the hosted option, we will also arrange this for you.
Once all is set up, you’ll be provided with a welcome pack which details everything you need to get started.
At this point, your eSystem is ready for you to start using. However, we want all users to be confident in using the software, so we offer personalised and detailed training. We can be flexible on how this training is delivered – onsite to all potential users or over two sessions online. It’s your choice to choose whichever works best for you and your team.
This training will be tailored to your specific needs but will cover the basics from navigating around the eSystem and setting up users. To creating and structuring your question bank, creating and administering exams, exam delivery, marking and reporting and statistics.
We encourage you to explore the system fully. To create and run test exams and use all of the tools to ensure you’re happy before you run your first online assessments.
We will of course be happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have.
In addition to the in-person training session/s, we have an ever-growing range of support materials to assist you with your online assessments. From the in-system help tools in the form of our quick start guides, which give you all the steps you need to get started with the most common functions of the software. To our series of handy videos that demonstrate how to complete various tasks. Learn how to run a blueprint, generate candidate feedback reports or how to mark and moderate exams for example.
All eSystem customers also get access to free ongoing support* so you can be confident that help is on hand if you need it. Furthermore, if you’ve chosen the hosted option, we’ll run regular backups and manage any updates for you, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
We understand that change is hard, but we hope the steps we’ve outlined here make considering a move to online assessments a little less daunting.
*(subject to our service level agreement)