Introduction to Online Exam Software
Education institutes are trying to replace traditional methods of education with modern and innovative ways of education. This has invited the incorporation of online exam software to conduct classes as well as exams online.
Eklavvya is an award-winning platform that has made conducting exams online, providing remote proctoring services and evaluating answer sheets much simpler and secure. Eklavvya has been able to achieve this quality due to the adoption of best practices associated with online examinations process.
Let us see what are these best practices and their importance.
Training to Administrators and students for Online Exam Software
There are many different stakeholders such as administrators, teachers, professors, students and parents involved in the online examination process.
Many of them are new to the entire process of conducting online exams. Hence, it becomes necessary to provide them with some training before the beginning of exam process so that each stakeholder will be able to carry out his/her job properly which will, in turn, enable the smooth running of the online examination process.
Here is one of the training videos about how to attempt online exam.
Mock/Practice Exams to understand Online Exam Software
Mock exams are exactly similar to the main exams. The format and time allocated is the same as that of the main exam. Such mock exams can help students get an idea about how the actual main exam is going to be.
The marks for these exams are not counted and are mainly arranged for students to practice which also help them analyse and understand where they stand. Such mock exams are provided by Eklavvya’s online exam software along with the instructions to help students practice and prepare themselves for the final exams.
Online Exam Software Training Videos
Another best practice followed by Eklavvya is providing training videos to administrators, students, parents and other stakeholders involved in the process of conducting online examination process.
Many such informative videos are provided by the Eklavvya platform which can be easily accessed through YouTube or WhatsApp at any time from anywhere. The stakeholders can refer to these videos to understand the working of the online exam software and how the students will be able to appear for the online exams with confidence. This also helps the students to save time while beginning the exam.
Here is one of the training videos for Subject Matter Expert for defining the online exam Questions
Instant support for query resolution
Query management is one of the most important features of Eklavvya. The students or parents can ask queries or make requests before, during, or after the mock examination process. These queries which can be technical or functional are immediately acknowledged and resolved by the administrators.
This ensures that the parents of the students do not face any issues while appearing for the final exam. Instant support for queries is required when the final exam begins. A student might raise a query before an exam through WhatsApp, email communication or even a phone call just before starting of the exam.
Such queries must be addressed immediately and resolved then and there. This type of best practice ensures that the student can log in and start the exam on time.
Scalable solution to handle thousands of concurrent exams
Adoption of this best practice is technically very crucial. There would be a large number of students appearing for the same exam at the same time. This would put a lot of load on the server and increase the traffic.
To avoid this, Eklavvya’s platform developed to be scalable so as to handle this load and allow numerous concurrent logins. This ensures the smooth running of the online exam software and also helps to conduct the online exams seamlessly for students’ benefit that might be appearing for the exams using mobile phone devices.
Security, data encryption, Role-based access
Eklavvya has been provided with different features to maintain the security of the platform. Basic security mechanisms such as the use of SSL protocol and data encryption is being used to encrypt the data/communication carried out between client to server or server to the client.
This helps to secure the information exchange which happens while the students appear for the online exams. The access related to online exams such as access to question banks, access to view the results, or the access to view various exam attributes must be based on the roles.
Eklavvya ensures that when a person with a specific role logs into the system, he/she is able to access only those things which are compatible with the role. For example, the examiners will have the access to view and update the answer sheets. But in that case, student details such as roll number, name, or email id will be masked to avoid bias.
Another example would be the Subject Matter Expert who can have access only to the respective subject’s question bank for which he/she is responsible. An Administrator or the person responsible for generating the results logs into the system, he/she can access only the result data associated with the exam process.
Thus, Eklavvya’s online exam software ensures that the confidentiality of the data is restricted to a certain group of people who responsible for that data by providing role-based access.
Online Exam Software – Device Compatibility
This best practice is specially designed for those students who do not have access to personal computers or laptops. Eklavvya has been designed to conduct the exams on tablets and smartphones as well.
The android app for Eklavvya can be installed on any android phone with internet connectivity and can be used to appear for the exams using mobile phones. The online exams can be attempted on the iPhones as well. This provides the flexibility to attempt the exam using any internet-based device by the students from any remote location.
Thus, we have seen the best practices adopted by Eklavvya. Now let us see how online examinations are implemented with the help of these best practices.
Online examination implementation process
The online exam software implementation consists of mainly three activities or phases. All these three phases must be executed in a professional manner to make the online exam software implementation a success. Let us have a look at them.
1. Pre examination activity
This step includes various activities such as managing the question bank, defining the exam pattern, etc. Question bank can be prepared by the subject matter expert or the paper setter.
Eklavvya platform has defined an independent role for them and provided them with their independent credentials. They can log into the system and define the question bank for the online exam for their respective subjects.
Let us imagine a scenario wherein there are 500 subjects to be considered for examination in a university. The university might have 400-500 teachers or professors who are expert in the subjects they teach.
Thus, an English teacher or professor can log into the system and define the question bank for various English exams for different streams such as B.A., B.com. or B.Sc.
The subject matter expert can prepare the question bank based on various aspects such as difficulty level of the exam, marks associated with each question and question type such as subjective or objective question. They can also map different attributes such as topic name associated with the questions. Hence, the paper setter can map multiple topics associated with one question.
The validity or authenticity of the questions is very important for the success of the exams. Thus, Eklavvya has provided a facility to the subject matter experts to validate the questions. With the help of this facility, the subject matter expert can import the questions in the Word format or by using Excel or Word templates.
There is also a facility to define questions related to mathematical equations or chemical reactions. This means that questions which include mathematical or chemical symbols, images, graphs and statistics can also be defined using Eklavvya’s online exam software.
Therefore, Eklavvya helps the subject matter expert to set multiple question banks for various different subjects who enables him/her to select any one of the many question banks randomly and assign it to the candidates for online exam.
But to make this process methodical or process-oriented, it is important to train the subject matter experts so that they can use the online exam software efficiently and effectively.
Eklavvya also provides a facility for moderation wherein the moderators can log into the system and verify if the questions banks are as per the syllabus, if the questions are as per the requirement, if the difficulty level of the questions banks is matching the question types, whether the marks defined are correct or not, etc.
This helps to achieve quality and accuracy which is crucial while defining the question banks.
Eklavvya has also provided role based access and role based security. The subject matter expert can choose only his/her role and the subject/subjects while logging into the software. Thus the subject matter expert can define the question bank only for the selected subject/subjects as also will not be able to access the question banks defined for the subject other than the selected ones.
2. Online examination activity
Before beginning with the exam, the candidates appearing for the exam need to go through a mock test for practice. This would make them comfortable in handling many different facets of online examination. The mock exams conducted by Eklavvya can provide them the best opportunity wherein they can get accustomed to using the online exam software.
Eklavvya provides many means and modes where you can define the mock exams for the candidates. Apart from mock exams, training videos are also provided for the convenience of the candidates. But as per our survey and observations, the success factor of online exam implementation depends on the actual exam process.
Thus if the mock exams are conducted successfully for the candidates, then the candidates would not face any difficulties during the actual exam as all of their queries will be resolved during the mock exam process.
Also if the pre examination activities are carried out accurately and the examination schedule is also defined correctly, then the candidates will be able to log into the system and begin with the online exam on the correct date and time as per the schedule. The appropriate question paper will also get loaded on their systems.
Eklavvya has provided various features to manage the online exam schedules such as the option to have a fix schedule or a flexible schedule.
For example if the exam has a fixed schedule like 11 am to 12 pm, then the option for Fix Schedule can be selected. But if the exam is for 60 minutes, the exam window is open between 10 am to 12 pm and the candidates are allowed to login and give the exam anytime between 10 am to 12 pm, then the option for Flexible Schedule can be selected.
3. Post examination activity
The Examiner is responsible for evaluation of the answer sheets written or typed by the candidate. Thus, the examiner plays a key role in the post-examination phase.
The role of the examiner is defined by Eklavvya in the system. In case of subjective exams, Eklavvya’s online exam software provides facility for the examiner to lo into the system by selecting the role, entering other details such as name, mobile number, email id, and then selecting the respective subjects for which he/she is responsible for the evaluation of answer scripts.
Eklavvya also provides an option to assign an examiner to a particular exam. The examiner who has been assign for evaluation for any exam can log into the system to access the answer scripts belonging to the candidates.
Thus the role-based access of the examiner simplifies the post-examination activity related to the evaluation or checking of the answer sheets written by the candidates.
Thus, Eklavvya’s online exam software offers many features that have made the process of evaluating multiple subjective answer sheets extremely effortless and hassle-free.
The post-examination process of result processing comes which comes after evaluation of answer sheets is also made quite uncomplicated and manageable by Eklavvya. Eklavvya’s online exam software provides APIs which can be used to export the exam results easily in your system. These results can be exported in Excel or PDF format as well.
Thus, we can conclude that the three phases of pre-examination activity, actual online exam activity and post-exam activity are essential for the success of any online examination.
Many renowned institutes worldwide have opted Eklavvya’s online exam software for conducting exams remotely. We, at Splashgain, have conducted countless exams under Eklavvya platform.
Several institutes belonging to different countries have benefitted from Eklavvya’s platform as also appreciated and provided wonderful positive feedback about the software and related services.
All this has happened due to the best practices we could incorporate after receiving feedback from various stakeholders such as registrars, universities, education institutions, schools, deans and professors.
Eklavvya has implemented these best practices to simplify the process of conducting online examinations and to make the experience user-friendly and flawless.