Before March 2020, it was preferred to conduct user research in person to test new concepts, identify problems with current user experiences, and conduct seminars and traditional testing techniques. The priority was always to do user testing on-site, with testing occurring in specialised user labs, client offices, universities, and our centre. There has never been a shortage of places to carry out in-person user testing, from cosy offices to crowded box rooms and large aircraft hangars.
The user research community had to adapt to the interruption when COVID hit because most of the world had already gone to bed. At no point in the history of the world wide web has an event prompted such a rapid response in such a short amount of time as when people suddenly started going online. It was more crucial than ever for businesses and education to comprehend how the changes affected student behaviour due to the disruption, forced home working, widespread closures of retail and leisure establishments, the implementation of cutbacks, and user behaviour changes brought on by the new draconian emergency rules.
Businesses had to relocate online overnight because supermarkets could not meet internet demand. With the overnight surge in demand, even the powerful Amazon began to sag.
There are three main approaches to the testing process, which are as follows:
a) Moderated testing in person
b) unmoderated remote testing
c) remote testing with moderators
For the business or educational industry, before heading into the online industry, the users should be aware of all pros and cons of online testing services.
One of their most obvious benefits is the simplicity with which distributed tests can be taken if the student has access to a laptop and a wifi connection.
The tests can be scheduled to run at any time or even over a longer period, allowing candidates to take them when it is most convenient for them. You can easily arrange for some of your students to take the exam at varying times if they are not feeling well. The candidate cannot view the exam before pressing the start button because it won’t be visible until then.
Since the candidate will administer the exam on a device that they are already accustomed to using, taking the test may become less traumatic for them.
Less expensive organisations to examine:
Distributed exam administration helps the school administering the test drastically cut costs. The costs of setting up locations, policing them, and managing staff have decreased.
Cost savings for students:
Student fees are also reduced because students are no longer required to drive to the testing location.
Parity of delivery:
While taking the exam, the candidate does not need an internet connection if they use the Maxexam Exam App. Before logging in, the exam paper must first be fetched from the app (which is possible to do in advance) and then uploaded. Because the exam paper has already been downloaded, once candidates select “start,” the exam will be given to every one of them equally.
Exams must be made to be administered without an invigilator:
Allowing candidates to take an exam at home does enhance the likelihood that pupils will be able to find solutions (possibly on some other computer) or collaborate or even can hire a tutor to take my online class. However, there are several strategies that may be used to minimise this, such as ensuring that the exam questions are chosen at random and that the time provided for taking the test is brief (making it impossible to find solutions and yet complete the test).
Online testing doesn’t come up with high scores always.
There are many similarities between giving an open-book exam and a distributed test, so one method of figuring out whether a test can be given decentralized is to ask if it can be given as an open, collaborative exam. There has recently been a lot of research on the usefulness of open-book tests, which suggests that pupils don’t often perform better on average on open-book exams and that those who perform well in both types of exams are the same. It was also demonstrated that both exam preparation strategies were nearly comparable.
Not right now appropriate for all testing types:
While distributed tests are simple to employ for written tests or multiple-choice questions, using them for therapeutic exams like OSCEs, which require interaction with “patients,” is more difficult and requires careful planning. While running clinical tests remotely has not been easy, we have been collaborating with clients to determine how best to do so. With enough planning, we feel this option is doable.
Some people may be disadvantaged by different student situations or technical knowledge:
The conditions of each candidate vary; even if most of them will have a quiet workspace, some may not. Different students will use technology more effectively than others. The disparity in technological expertise is probably a substantial obstacle if the examination is taken using a simple, easily accessible tool like Maxexam. The lack of a quiet workspace is more difficult to mitigate. Still, there are questions beforehand to determine whether it is likely to be a concern and collaborating with applicants to try and develop a solution.
The COVID-19 lockout has sparked a discussion about whether doing distributed tests is a practical and trustworthy choice for exams in the healthcare industry. Even though such sad circumstances have sparked this conversation, I know there are numerous benefits to administering tests remotely, especially when collecting applicants in one place is impractical. Before using this way of giving tests, there are a few things to consider, which are given above. With the right preparation, remote exams can be successfully administered for many (or even most) tests.
However, some exams, including clinical exams, are undoubtedly more challenging than others. Clients administering qualifying tests with high stakes may want to consider their options carefully before proceeding.