Understanding the Student Perspective on Remote Assessment and Teaching

Education is one of the most affected fields that had to change routes since the first outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the need for people to self-isolate, in-class education had to be ceased indefinitely. While all the people involved in education are trying to adjust to this huge transition in education, instructors have one more additional responsibility: lending an ear to students. Obviously, that is not news. You as instructors are surely aware of that responsibility; however, with the transition to online learning, this responsibility goes through a change as well. Now that education and assessment in education have turned their faces to technology, instructors have to observe how it affects students. 

How Do Students Feel About Online Education?

Majority of students admit that transitioning to an online education system has been a challenging experience. According to numerous studies that have been conducted in different schools from different education levels, one of the biggest problems that students face is lack of motivation. For instance, a multi-institutional survey conducted in the US in July 2020, The Student Experience in the Research University survey, shows that 96% of 22,519 undergraduate students and 88% of  7,690 graduate students experienced at least one obstacle in their transition to remote learning. 76% of undergraduate students and 56% of graduate students stated that the biggest challenge they faced in transition was lack of motivation. Students claim that the efficiency they receive from online education is not satisfactory compared to the effort they are putting into keeping up with the curriculum and the difficulties of remote education. Even though they list favorable outcomes of this new system such as having more time to themselves, having the chance to prepare their own schedule and applying their own ways of learning and studying to the online environment; their complaints cannot be overlooked. Since their biggest problems and concerns are about keeping up with the process and curriculum, the first thing to consider should be keeping them engaged. What keeps students involved and interested? How can instructors track students’ progress? Since you would not be able to attract their attention face-to-face, you can try to keep them involved and make sure that they are keeping up. So the main thing you should do is to make sure that your assessment techniques are adequate and effective. While transitioning to online assessment, you have to be aware that there are many disadvantages of online assessment but you can eliminate them by revising your assessment methods. 

Disadvantages of Remote Teaching and Online Assessment

Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction

In online education, interaction is limited and that causes various problems. While conducting assessments in traditional education, instructors have the chance to observe students’ expressions, body language and make inferences about their thoughts and emotions without having to wait for them to explain. 

Keeping Track of Student Progress

In the classroom environment, it is easier to see if the students are engaged or not. Observing their behavior and attitude towards the lectures makes it way easier for instructors to get a grip on the students’ progress. In online assessment, instructors cannot observe students in a classroom environment and that affects their judgment of students’ performance. Not being able to receive instant feedback from students is a significant factor as well. 

Security Concerns in Online Exams

Since online exams are the most preferred way of assessing students in remote education, it has to be reliable. Instructors cannot physically monitor students in online exams so the concern of cheating occurs. Not trusting technology has an important role in this concern as well. 

Difficulties in Preparing Online Exams

Most of the time, instructors have difficulties using online assessment tools. It is difficult to get used to a new system; therefore it might be challenging to create online exams, prepare questions in a new platform, and track the assessment process. 

Eliminating the Disadvantages of Online Assessment and Turning Them into Advantages

Facing challenges and disadvantages in a new transitioned field is not an unexpected outcome. However, the real deal is turning these disadvantages into advantages. In this route, your biggest supporter is Test Invite with its experience. Since Test Invite has been there long before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been operating in online assessment for so long that it was prepared for the digital transformation that has come along with the pandemic. 

Interaction: In order to solve the interaction problems that might decelerate the online assessment process, you can think of arranging individual meetings with students according to their needs. That way, you can closely observe your students’ progress and shape your assessment planning accordingly. Plus, you can create group projects of activities through breakout rooms and sessions in order to increase the interaction among students. 

Tracking: Keeping track of student progress through online assessment methods might be tricky. With the help of Test Invite, you can create your own quizzes or exams and use them effectively in your assessment process. In your online assessment tools such as exams or quizzes, you don’t have to make an extra effort to write your questions over and over again. You can collect your questions in the question bank and create pools that will be used by Test Invite to randomly choose and organize your tests in a non-sequential way. Test Invite offers a wide range of features that can be used in performance assessment or midterm class evaluation feedback. Therefore you can eliminate the problem of instant feedback receival and constant progress tracking. 

Security: Online exams might sound like a cheating-permitting online assessment tool but that is obviously not the case. You can determine the access to the exam regarding time or you can determine who can access or not with the features that are offered by Test Invite. Plus, you can make use of features such as online proctoring, screen recording, webcam recording. That way, although you are not physically present in a classroom with students, you can still monitor them in the exams. Apart from monitoring students, you can also manage the order of the questions or assign randomly chosen different questions to each student. Through these features, you can ensure the security and reliability of your online assessments. 

Preparing: Though you might be used to preparing exams or questions in the traditional education system, the online education system requires different ways of operation. You might develop your own way of preparing online exams for your students but a little help doesn’t hurt anyone. With the help of Test Invite, you can create your own online exams in the easiest possible way. Test Invite allows you to prepare your questions in your own way which would be the easiest.

What makes using online assessment tools effectively important is that technology and digital tools will most likely stick with us even after the pandemic. Technology, by facilitating our lives, has earned its permanent place in education. Though it might seem complicated and not so easy to get used to, the use of technology will bring convenience to the education field. Especially with the growth of hybrid learning and blended learning, the importance of using technology, especially online assessment tools, is increasing since both models require in-class and remote teaching combined together. These models both operate in the classroom environment and digital environment which will be the most preferred teaching method in the near future. 

Making Use of Online Education Elements

The current pandemic might be lessening its effect on the world; however, it certainly left us some scars and gifts. Especially in education, we will keep witnessing its effects for a long time. As people get used to the online education tools and see their convenience, they will keep using them even though schools transition back to traditional education. With blended and hybrid learning models, we see the efficient use of online teaching and assessment tools. By this transition, the education field has gained a chance to conduct easier assessments with safe online exams and accelerated learning and progress tracking processes.