If you’re like most teachers, you love what you, but at the same time, life would be better if you didn’t have to grade so many tests. At least when you’re grading reports, you can provide custom-tailored feedback to your students and it keeps life interesting. But grading a stack of multiple choice tests is like playing an endless (and lonely) game of tic-tac-toe.
It’s no secret that many teachers seriously dislike grading papers and multiple choice tests because it can be painfully tedious. You can only repeatedly look at the letters A-B-C-D for so many hours before it gets cumbersome. And students don’t always like taking these tests, either.
When you consider how many times you’re going to repeat the experience of endless paper grading multiple times each semester, year after year, it just makes sense to consider using online test software to administer some of your exams.
Online tests create more time in your day
Teachers love online tests because there’s no learning curve, it’s secure, and it saves time and effort. And you don’t need to program anything.
When you use online test software, tests are graded automatically by the system, eliminating the need to spend hours after school grading and writing up feedback for each individual student.
Having your students take tests online does more than just relieve you of that giant stack of tests that takes 7 hours and a few pots of coffee to get through. It gives you more time to work on developing your next assignments, and time to spend with the students who really need your personal guidance.
Take your time developing your tests
You know those 7 hours you’ll save by moving your tests online? You can utilize that time for engineering your tests to ensure you’re not making the answers too obvious.
You’ll always have students who use psychology in an attempt to outsmart your tests, so by using online software, you’re giving yourself the freedom to spend some extra time creating your multiple choice answers before you publish your test.
Students are smart, and Google is their friend. There’s a lot of information out there about how to crack the code of multiple choice tests created by humans. As outlined in the link above, studies have shown that no matter how hard you try to make the right answer blend in, it will often stick out instead.
When it makes sense to move to online exams
Every teacher’s situation is different, and while there are some exams that can’t be administered in an online environment, many of them can be administered in that way. Because we live in a world where internet access is freely available to anyone with a computer (even if they have to go to Starbucks), and most schools offer computer labs for student use, it shouldn’t be too hard for your students to take some of their exams online.
Watch: How to Create Online Tests
And online tests can be more convenient for your students as well, especially if you’re teaching students faced with high academic demands, like students in medical college. For a medical student, every minute they get to spend studying is priceless, and when you schedule an entire day just for one exam, it takes more time out of their day to get ready, drive to school, take the test, and drive home. If you offered some of your exams online, they could stay at home to take it, and spend the rest of the day studying.
Online exams provide useful features
With an online exam, you can actually do more for your students than you can with a manual exam. You can allow your students a few chances to get a better score (if you choose). You can add a time limit, shuffle answers and randomize questions, and set an expiration to limit the availability of the exam.
As a teacher, you love your students, but you also have a life of your own. If you haven’t moved some of your exams online yet, consider trying it out with a single test. You could even make one up just to test the process. To get your students interested in the test, you could make it fun so they don’t feel like it’s work.
They’ll probably love it, and that means they’re more likely to learn more and score higher on their tests.
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