5 Tips on Creating Online Exams for Professors

Whether you’re teaching a fully online class and need to assess your students’ progress or you just want to offer online testing as a learning resource, creating online exams can be tricky.

When done well, online assessments have a positive influence on the way students approach problems. But, certain types of exam questions work better online than others, while you’ll have to find ways to deter collaboration and searching the web for answers.

Luckily, there are plenty of online assessment tools and exam creation tips out there to help you. Keep reading to find out more!

1. Give Your Students Regular Online Tests to Practice

One way to better prepare your students for their final exam and get them used to the online format is to give them regular online tests and quizzes. Another bonus of regular testing is reduced nervousness during final exams for as many as 72 percent of students.

More testing doesn’t have to mean more work for you though. There are plenty of educator resources available to provide you with ready-made questions as well as free quiz-making resources with integrated auto-scoring.

2. Apply Adaptive Testing

Adaptive testing uses an algorithm to adapt the difficulty of a test to the examinee’s ability. Each test starts the same, with the bar increasing with every right answer. But should they get something wrong, the bar is then dropped to meet their level until they get something right.

Some of the benefits of this online assessment tool are better test security, shorter tests, individualized examination, reduced stress, and increased motivation.

3. Use Isomorphic Questions and Randomization

One of the main concerns when designing online exam questions is collaboration between students. Isomorphic questions and random ordering can help avoid this by creating slightly different but equivalent exams for students. For example, you could change the order of the questions, the order of multiple-choice options, or the exact content of the questions themselves by adjusting numerical values.

4. Block the Use of Other Websites

There are also online assessment tools that help you stop your students from looking up answers during their exams. These allow you to limit your students’ access to certain approved websites or lock them into the exam browser so they can’t access other websites on the device they’re using.

5. Create Open Online Exams

An obvious disadvantage of using searching blocks to discourage looking up answers is that your students can always use their notes for exams, as well as other devices to search online or contact classmates.

Open online exams that allow or encourage online research and collaboration can provide a solution. This method may not be suitable for certain types of exam questions and subjects, such as multiple choice or math. But, open exams are ideal for assessing how well a student understands a complex topic or theory.

Tips on Creating Online Exams

As these tips and suggestions show, creating online exams can be a minefield. You want your students’ online test results to provide a true reflection of their ability and knowledge. But at the same time, understanding how best to extract that information when testing them online often takes some practice.

Want more teaching tips like this? Be sure to check out our other blogs for all the latest education news and advice!

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