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Home » Future of Higher Education Technology » Digital Transformation and Computer-Based Exams in Higher Ed

Digital transformation is influencing everything, from how we eat to how we watch movies — something that has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. And education has experienced one of the biggest accelerations toward digital transformation. While online programs and tech-based educational tools have been available for years, all types of schools had to immediately pivot to online and remote options when the novel coronavirus hit.

One of the biggest challenges for traditional, in-person courses was assessment. How do programs administer exams remotely without risk of academic dishonesty? How do schools ensure an equitable exam experience? Luckily, there was a solution at the ready, and it offered more than just secure remote exams: ExamSoft.

How it works

ExamSoft is an all-in-one solution for computer-based assessments, both in person and remote. The first step for remote exams is our ExamID product, which helps educators and exam administrators ensure the right person is taking the exam. ExamID uses picture-matching technology to show you who accessed the test. Then our remote proctoring solution, ExamMonitor, records students as they test, helping to preserve academic integrity.

With ExamMonitor, exam-takers are monitored throughout for any behavioral anomalies, such as walking away from the computer or calling someone on their phone. After the assessment is complete, an exam administrator from the university reviews the evidence and is responsible for the final decision on any flagged incidents.

ExamSoft goes beyond locked-down browser technology by disabling every application on the device except Examplify, the test-taking app itself. The only thing a student can do when Examplify opens and the test begins is take the assessment — they cannot view notes on their computer, take screenshots of exam content, or copy and paste exam questions to another application. Additionally, there is no need for a Wi-Fi connection during the exam, not only ensuring academic integrity, but also making access more equitable and less stressful for students.

Actionable data brings real transformation

While some of the reasons for protecting academic integrity are obvious, one less evident but critical point is that exam security also translates to accurate data.

When exams are complete, faculty can send Strengths & Opportunities Reports to their students. This feedback shows the student where they did well and where they could use improvement. This exchange helps with student engagement, remediation efforts, and retention.  

With ExamSoft-delivered assessments, educators gain data and reports that empower them to improve learning outcomes, increase retention, and streamline the accreditation process. By tagging exam items to categories — content areas, course objectives, accreditation standards, or Bloom’s Taxonomy, for example — educators get a holistic view of both student and instructor performance. The psychometrics built into the platform also give exam administrators guidance on which of their questions are strong, and which ones aren’t as good at measuring knowledge.

With the actionable data gathered from assessments, instructors know where students are struggling, and they can remediate early, long before the summative final exam or licensure exam required by many professions. Students who see a path to success are much more likely to complete a degree program. Programs that can demonstrate successful learning outcomes, instructional methods, and program standards have a much easier time during the accreditation process.

The custom reports from ExamSoft can also show instructors where their teaching strategies or curriculum can be adjusted. If a high percentage of students, including high performers, struggled with a certain section of the test, instructors can use the reports to see if those items were tagged to a certain teaching strategy. They’ll gain insight from psychometrics that can help determine if it was an unfair or poorly worded question.

This is what we mean when we say that ExamSoft provides actionable data — it’s not a one-time report that you can’t utilize. Educators gain useful data from every assessment that can drive meaningful improvement.

Are you ready to get more from your assessments with ExamSoft? Learn more here.

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