Time to Ditch Paper Assessments & Learning

Major studies around the word are suggesting that kids learn better online that they do with paper. Online assessments and learning are more engaging whilst also delivering improved academic performance. The Scottish Qualifications Authority has even stated that it intends to phase out hand written tests within the next ten years. Therefore preparations for exams should naturally be online.

Big players in the ever-expanding tech industry despair at the fact western countries are failing to train their citizens for a digital world, subsequently emerging economies such as China and India are all too happy to supply the talented workforce. Facebook has just opened major offices in London, but with Brexit on the horizon it fears it will struggle to fill its positions in the future. Outmoded education and assessments in primary and secondary education makes it inadequate for a globalised world.

Of course the main objection to online assessments is ‘what if they cheat?’, but technology has surpassed this, many online assessments indicate the time taken on each question, and may even indicate where a pupil has visited an online source. There is also the argument that seeking out information when completing an online quiz is also a form of effective learning. More of a challenge for formal assessments like GCSE’s being completed online however. Informal online class quizes however are an effective way of measuring progression, even if pupils look for answers online.

Students process information much quicker and more effectively online than they can on paper. This generation is exposed to far more information than the generation before it. Helping students understand how to delineate between reliable sources of information should be a high priority. Setting out what is important through an online test gives the students a base to work from.

Online education so accessible, you can even access tests ready-made by experts in industry, arts and sciences. There is a troubling disconnect between the often outdated practices of schools and innovation in industry. It is time we take note like other countries have so we don’t face a gaping skills gap.

DesignATest is an online education platform changing the way schools do tests. It’s accessible learning features mean teacher create engaging online tests and measure results in real time. Progress is measured preparing students to be challenged through online mediums.

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Online Testing: Instant Learning

With students more interested in their phones than their books, it’s time to stop fighting the inevitable. Schools have frequently banned ‘electronic devices’ even  teachers can be seen having a cheeky scroll through their Facebook feeds during assembly. With unfathomable amounts of information in the palms of students, schools simply must find a way to take up some screen time and space.  The hostile environment towards new technology in schools will only harm pupils by not preparing them for a world where their lives will become ever more reliant on it.

There’s not a high school level question that cannot be answered by the internet, students can find the information far quick, more efficiently and more comprehensively. Schools however offer far more than just information, the also give an invaluable social education. As students now live a large fraction of their lives online, with a culture dominated by the internet, schools simply must find their way to the online space.

online school quiz

There are a number of methods and platforms already established for schools to reach students online. One such platform is DesignATest, this system offers a vast range of features designed to offer a tailored approach to education. You can create an online quiz that gets students engaged through the devices they treasure so much.

The winning formula for the DesignATest platform is the instant learning it provides. Students can be doing the class online quiz on their phone on the bus home from school.  Keeping them engaged with the things they have learned in class at home. Think of it like adding vegetables to their favourite food, they don’t notice they are learning…online quiz generator

There’s also no more; ‘I left it at home’, ‘the dog ate my homework’ or ‘I lost it’ as  there’s just no more excuses. Teachers can also communicate with parents on issues of concern. You can also measure academic progression over time with interactive graphs.

You’ll be able to reinforce the importance of deadlines, as well as prepare students for the expectations of professional life. The internet has penetrated industry and completely changed the workplace, yet schools continue to resist the inevitable. Companies increasingly are training and assessing their employees online, as well as tracking professional performance.

Simple drag and drop functionality means you can create online tests with ease. Universities have also begun adopting online assessments with most syllabuses having an industry specific information technology module.

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Online Tests to Communicate and Educate Together

For years the parents/teacher relationship involved a parents evening a couple of times a year and notes scribbled on paper with the child used as trusty messenger. As technology helps us advance in so many things it is now also starting to reach education with the internet being a tool with uncapped educational potential. What can it do then to bring teachers, parents and pupils closer together to achieve education fit for the 21st century? Well…

Online assessment is one of the best ways for schools, teachers, parents and pupils to track learning progression in a holistic unified way. There’s no more letters that don’t find their way to parents, they are notified of results instantly.  Teachers can pick up when the child is falling behind. Students can also monitor their own progress in real time without having to wait for teachers to mark their work, this instant gratification enhances their learning experience.

This collaborative approach to learning and assessment streamlines communication between parents and teachers. Based on academic monitoring you can strategise with the student to reach time measured goals. This way the student has clearly defined targets and knows exactly what is expected of them. Many schools have coupled this with a results and rewards system which drives achievement in subjects where students are particularly disengaged.

Teacher with student girl writing assignment

Efficient education needs to be the future of education especially as class sizes have steadily increased to breaking point. Technology enables teachers to deliver a one-on-one experience for each of the pupils in a class of 30 or more pupils. Assessing students with online tests also saves so much time that can be spent on refining the students skills. Teacher saves time with automatic marking, no more photocopying or spending precious class time reviewing the tests. Online test results are fed back immediately.

online tests

Schools are falling behind when it comes to adopting new technology for a generation to whom it matters most. Schools are full of students that have never known a world without the internet; they can ask Google a question and have it answered in a fraction of a second. Many schools are technophobic because of staff who shun technology in the fear they will not understand it. In reality most of the pupils will pick it up quicker than the teachers. Online test systems are designed to cater to all levels of technical knowledge with common sense functionality. Transitions from paper to online are seamless with an easy user interface.

DesignATest is one such system, completely based online and analyses students progress using hundreds of data points. Visualised in interactive charts and graphs results are clear and easy to understand. Communication is seamless and instant through the in-built email system and work together to reach clearly defined academic goals.

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Save Money & The Environment: Test Online

It’s time to create tests online; teachers have been churning out reams of photocopying each year having a devastating effect on the environment. Even as new technology charges on revolutionising the world; many schools are still using the old fashion multiple choice paper tests.

It is so wasteful: because multiple choice tests seldom fill up all the space on the paper there’s a lot of empty space causing you to use unnecessary sheets.  Secondly for the average class of 30 the amount of pages can become immense especially when you have to photocopy something like a past paper at 15 pages per pupil….

This will save you money in reduced photocopying, it will also free up teachers for other tasks given online tests mark themselves instantly. Teachers can also measure time taken to complete the test and other metrics to analyse the child’s progress.

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Another huge benefit is that it is a platform students actually engage with. When you pop a test on a class you hear sighs as you distribute the same old boring  paper tests. Pupils find online tests engaging given that they can get their results, and see how they are doing as they go along. This helps students do better in tests as it boosts their confidence as it releases ‘reward’ signals in their brain. 

Think of the waste cycle paper tests go through right from the point the tree is cut down. All the trucks that are needed to take the wood shavings to the processing plants, then a truck to stores, then to deliver the paper to your school, and to top it off a truck to take it as waste…

Environment online tests

But where to start? There’s lots of testing platforms but to get started you need a programme students, teachers and parents can interact with. Everyone who is responsible for the child can monitor their progress and identify areas of improvement all working together. That in mind you want something simple, free from technical issues and allows you to design tests easily.

The DesignATest platform is designed with all of this in mind. It has easy drag /drop test building features. You can track a child’s progress with easy to read charts and graphics. You also have the ability to set assessments for different classes, levels and abilities. With DesignaTest the tests mark themselves automatically and you can share results with parents instantly.

You also get access to a huge database of reviewed tests, created by experts in their field, that you can set for pupils in just a few clicks.

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