OWL Blog

6 Features to Look for in Your Exam Management System

6 Features to Look for in Your Exam Management System

  Chris Dalessandri
  Founder, OWL Testing Software

There are a lot of ways to create online exams, and some of them are even free. But, be careful, don't let economy win out over effectiveness because it could cost you greatly in the long run. After all, your examinations are too important to leave in the hands of click-driven, ad supported providers who offer little or no support. When choosing an exam management system look for a complete and proven solution that provides you with these important features.

1 | Affordable Capacity and Security across Multiple Testing Locations

Multiple LocationsBy providing access to exam management with a browser or a standalone app, a hosted solution will bear the burden of delivering a large volume of testing simultaneously across multiple, perhaps distant, locations. If you look for a locally hosted online exam system, you can also have the confidence to know where your data resides. Because your organization is not responsible for installing updates (like with a standalone or in-house solution), you can be confident you are always using the most up-to-date version of your exam management system.

2 | The Flexibility to Build and Deliver Custom Online Exams

Flexible Test BuilderOnly you know how your online assessment should work; so don’t let a one size fits all solution force you to compromise. Choose an exam management system that allows you to create many different item types and to include your own images, videos and audio. In addition to multiple choice, add variety to your online exams by including other question types like: drop down, word jumble, short answer, etc. You should be able to customize scoring and including the ability to weight of multiple choice options individually. It is important that the online test maker include settings for exam delivery like randomization, horizontal and vertical layout, number of items per page, forward only vs. at will progression, and timers. These are just a few ways to control your test taker's experience.


3 | The Ability to Combine Automatic Multiple Choice Scoring, Essay Marking
and Oral Response Rating in the Same Online Test 

Integrated Rater ModuleYou will do yourself a great service by selecting a system that has the potential to grow with your needs. Even if your motivation for automation is to streamline your multiple choice tests, your exam management system should include an integrated rater module with a rubric builder. This will allow evaluators to mark extended written responses and rate oral responses online. Administrators can have more control over the assessment process if they can monitor the entire rating process in one convenient place.

4 | An Online Testing System that Automates Exam Administration
and Generates Communications from System Events

Assessment AutomationConsider assessment automation features like test registration links, event-driven notifications, systems integration, single sign on and reporting APIs. These are all ways to control costs and streamline your entire assessment cycle that go beyond simply automating the marking responses and automatically scoring exams. For example, you can have your exam management system automatically generate notification emails to your raters informing them there are responses ready to be rated.

5 | The Exam Management System Should Store Response Data
using an Electronic Data Warehouse

Response Data WarehouseThe ability to store and retrieve test session and response data is the key to leveraging digital assessments. All exam responses, test session data, marking and rating information should be maintained securely and privately in an electronic data warehouse. This makes reporting and analyzing examination performance possible over the long term. With access to longitudinal data, organizations can continuously improve their programs, curricula, recruiting and most importantly performance over time.

6 | Proven Assessment System Performance and a Culture of Partnership

Partnership and SupportDon't let flashy marketing videos and banner ads mislead you into thinking that anyone can deliver your examinations. Make sure that the online exam management system you choose offers you customized start-up training and ongoing user support, including up-to-date help documentation to help you get started and stay on track. The investment you make by choosing a proven exam management system with the experience, expertise and motivation to become a partner in your assessment process is sure to payoff in the long run.



Photo by Tom Rogers on Unsplash