The world of education is continuously changing, and teachers must continuously refine and adjust their tools and techniques to keep up. For example, COVID-19 left many teachers without a classroom and many of the teaching tools they relied on each day as schools were closed seemingly overnight.
In response, teachers quickly developed new teaching and testing procedures to keep students productive and successful at home. Although we’re well into pandemic learning, and some schools are even returning to hybrid or in-person classes, educators still need effective online learning and testing procedures to power their classrooms.
In this post, we’ll walk through three ways you can leverage flexible, online testing software tools and strategies to help your students succeed in any learning environment.
#1 Rethink student engagement.
In a traditional classroom, teachers can observe how well their students engage with learning materials, peers, and even various assessment types. However, distanced and hybrid learning environments leave even less opportunity for students to engage with their teachers and one another in person.
In online courses and assessments, teachers often can’t see how a student interacts with the material. Are they engaged, frustrated, or merely filling in the answers with help from Google? Even if students are back in the classroom a few days each week, social distancing and face masks significantly reduce communication, expression, and, in turn, a teacher’s ability to measure how much active participation happens each day.
In response, educators have started leveraging innovative digital assessment tools to monitor and evaluate student engagement in nontraditional learning environments. They keep students engaged with immersive learning and adaptive testing software tools, like virtual reality(VR) and augmented reality(AR). A.I. solutions like AR and VR promote active learning to boost engagement and give teachers an in-depth sense of how well their students retain and apply course materials. AR/VR testing applications let students apply ‘real-life’ learning concepts from behind the computer screen, with assessments that prompt them to do things like:
- identify fossils at a virtual dig site
- build a structurally sound bridge or tower
- practice a new language with an interactive chatbot
These activities make learning fun and interactive while also measuring retention with far more detail than a multiple-choice or true/false question ever could. Most online testing software also includes automatic grading, scoring, and reporting features, saving hours of manual grading time and providing teachers with detailed, well-organized performance reports at the class and student level.
#2 Maintain testing integrity from afar.
Student engagement and participation levels aren’t the only things teachers monitor during in-class activities. On test day, teachers and other staff members are careful to watch test-takers to prevent the occasional peak at a notebook or whisper to a classmate.
As students settle into fully remote or hybrid learning, they’ve inevitably started testing their boundaries. Since teachers can’t be 20+ places at once, keeping tests secure and honest from afar requires some technology-based backup. Digital monitoring, proctoring, and security tools help teachers create and maintain secure tests in remote learning. They track performance across various courses and reduce human error to promote fair, equitable testing and accurate measures of student attainment.
Automated proctors can monitor student webcams and screen activity during each assessment, so teachers don’t have to jump from window to window, strategically watch 25 faces on a zoom call, or rely on an honor code to deter dishonesty. Furthermore, they can install security plugins to:
- schedule online deliveries based on testing group
- enable lockdown browsers at the start of each test
- enforce full-screen functionality
These tools ensure students aren’t looking at notes, working together, or Googling the answers during a test. Honest, secure testing leads to more accurate results, more impactful learning outcomes, and peace of mind for educators.
#3 Use data insights to inform teaching strategies.
No matter where or how educators teach their students, they rely on overarching performance, retention, and engagement measures to refine their teaching strategies and empower their students to succeed.
Data plays a role in nearly every aspect of digital learning and assessment. To support interoperability and simplify exam management, educators need a central access point to compare insights from every tool in their system. Online testing systems record, organize and track all of this data automatically and compile it into a unified data dashboard for educators.
As teachers adopt new digital assessment tools, they can leverage robust, real-time data insights in place of manual grading systems and generic, overarching success metrics built on outdated criteria.
At the student level, teachers can use this data to uncover which types of assessment best resonate with someone’s learning style, which subjects they understand the best, and where they stand in the course as a whole. They can also measure overall performance and see where students need help with specific topics or skills.
At the class level, teachers measure performance and use learning outcomes to refine their teaching methods, course material, test structure, and more. These insights help educators understand specific trends across the class and refine their teaching strategies to improve performance, mastery, productivity, etc. Teachers can even share this invaluable data with their colleagues and administrators to discuss new approaches at a higher level.
Whether classes resume in-person, go fully remote again, or fall somewhere in between, online learning tools have become a central part of the educational landscape. That’s why it’s essential to choose robust, reliable digital assessment tools that promotes positive learning experiences in any setting.
TAO Testing offers flexible learning solutions that help students and educators succeed. Integrate our technology into your existing toolset or build a new solution with user-friendly features, reliable support, and comprehensive monitoring from a single dashboard.