E-learning testing tools – Pass or Fail?
We often speak of digitalising classrooms, but the truth is that completely digital classrooms may not be realised on a large scale for a very long time. As of today, teachers are an indispensable part of the classroom. This is because children have different requirements depending on where they live, their family background, etc. A teacher computer may not be able to deliver the content in a way that’s customised to the students’ requirements.
On the other hand, teachers usually come from backgrounds similar to that of the students. They are able to identify with their problems and are attuned to communicating with the children in the best possible manner to yield results. However, there are many digital aids available for teachers enhance their teaching. These aids include the generation of tests and examinations.
E-learning modules which are to be used in the classroom – and even those which are not – usually come with sets of questions for the learner. The questions range from simple multiple choice questions to fun games which test the students while they have fun. Such learning tools are useful for teachers for interactive classroom quizzes and to increase class participation and interest. However, when it comes to formal testing, they often fall short.
Online applications and resources also include ready-made worksheets with lots of different kinds of questions pertaining to certain topics. These are easy to use and require minimal effort on the part of the teacher – they simply have to print them and hand them out to the students. However, online worksheets fall short in the customisation aspect. Teachers cannot exclude questions that the students have not yet learnt. On the other hand, they cannot include some questions which might be lacking in the tests.
A solution to both these problems comes in the form of a new kind of e-learning tool called the test generator. This product contains banks of thousands of questions relating to all the different topics in a particular syllabus. Teachers can choose the type of questions, number of questions, the number of marks each question should carry and all the possible permutations and combinations of the same. All this input is recorded using a user-friendly interface. Once they have entered the required input, a question paper is generated.
But it does not end here. If the teacher reads the question paper and realises that a question does not match his or her requirements, he or she can replace that individual question alone, keeping the rest of the paper untouched.
Test generators also have ideal answers to all the questions, which the teachers can access with a simple click of a button. This gives the teacher all the tools she needs to set the paper and correct it with minimal effort. The potential of test generators is very vast. If the students perform the tests digitally, the generators can also be equipped to correct those papers by checking them against the ideal answers.
Of course, when it comes to long answers and subjective answers, it is difficult to digitalise the correction. However, in due time, algorithms to identify the gist of the student’s answer will be created and put in place. With all this technology at their fingertips, teachers will have no excuse to dislike paper correction any longer.