Pros and Cons of Online and Offline examinations

By | 27/08/2014

Today internet has revolutionized the way of education; educators use computers to teach classes, send assignments to students who never have to enter into the classrooms and receive work online from the classes they teach. Online testing is becoming more popular as a method of evaluating student performance, but this form of testing has its pros and cons.

Online VS Offline Examinations

What are Online Examinations?
The latest technique of conducting examinations is through the Internet. The system allows educators and students to easily interact across borders and save time as well.

Pros of Online Examinations

offline vs online exam

  • Less resource required: Organisations conducting online tests require fewer resources eliminating the need for costly resources as well. The more students work off site via the Internet, the fewer students will use the physical campus facilities. This results in a reduced need for faculty and staff. The nature of online testing also reduces the printing of tests and other materials required for teaching.
  • Offers access to students with disabilities: A great advantage of online testing is its accessibility to students with disabilities. Computers can be customized to cater to those with various physical disabilities in order to place them on a level playing field with other students.
  • Easy Grading: Giving grades for online tests is easier than the conventional way of examination and is time saving advantage for educators. Depending on the type of test given, instructors may be able to enter an answer key into the system once and instantly grade all incoming tests. Even on tests that require grading essay type questions, the submitted exams are organized and easy to read for quicker grading.

Cons of Online Examinations

  • Connectivity issues: Connectivity can be a serious disadvantage of online testing. A student’s internet connection either in a school lab or at home can drop at any time for various reasons. In some cases this could cause the student to lose work or inadvertently submit tests that are incomplete.
  • Cheating: The chances of cheating during an online test are tough to eliminate! In fact, unless an instructor is physically watching someone take the test, it is almost impossible to remedy.

What are Offline Examinations?
When the term offline is used, it means something in person, in the classroom. Students and educators can talk to each other on a one on one basis. This is the traditional method of teaching.

Pros of Offline examination

  • Development of interpersonal skills: When in a classroom, students are required to speak their mind. They are required to give presentations or speeches. They also have to work in groups with all kinds of people with many differing viewpoints. Online courses require none of that. Traditional style learning teaches these things.
  • Development of memory and learning: While preparing for the traditional ways of examination, a student has to learn and has to memorize the teachings of the class. Doing this regularly develops their memory power and also enhances their ability to learn and imbibe the teachings fast and effectively. When someone does not have to study and memorize material, it does not embed in his or her long term memory the way it does when they do study it.
  • Motivates the students to learn: One problem with online classes is that all too often, they motivate us to get a degree, but not to learn. When students receive face to face verbal feedback and constructive criticism from their professors, it instills in them a motivation to not want to let their professors down. It is the relationships and bonds that are formed that give face to face learning an advantage over online learning.

Cons of Offline Examinations

  • A lot of resources required: To conduct a traditional way of examination needs a lot of resources and capital investment. A physical campus, requirement of adequate faculty and study material, seating arrangements etc. are all mandatory for the traditional method.
  • Difficulty for the physically disabled students: The physically disabled students have limited access to such traditional methods of educations and examination. Reaching the campus, writing the papers could be an obstacle for them.

With technological advancements and students getting computer savvy, they also want to adapt to the changes happening around them. The comfort of studying from home and doing it in one’s own space makes the students take up the online examination. Besides, a lot of people take up the online education and examination to balance between their personal and professional responsibilities and education.

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