Knowledge and skills assessment form an integral part of the education and corporate sector, with training outcomes commonly assessed in order to gain knowledge about student learning, manage changes to workplace structure and to guide the direction of future learning. Assessment activity is often undertaken to check student progression relative to others at a national, state or regional level across a socio-demographic cross section of society. Based on educational outcomes, the government or greater community can then better utilise and target education budgets to improve the quality of knowledge, create policies, change curriculums and overall better manage the educational process.
Quality Assessment tools are a necessary component of teaching in order to provide a broader curriculum coverage, better cater to individual learning needs and minimise performance gaps related with disadvantage.
At present, most assessments are carried out using a pen and paper, albeit with marginal improvements made to the marking process through the use of scanning processes and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies. The entire assessment process, however, is considered an arduous, complicated, time consuming and costly activity for trainers and students alike.
The growing trend towards using digital learning platforms, such as that offered through learning management systems (LMS), and online curriculum delivery is done so in a bid to automate and streamline the entire learning process, including integrated or specialised assessment systems. The use of online assessments is opening a whole new world of possibilities and novel techniques for assessing skills, knowledge, ability, behaviours, and complex psychological aspects of a person or group.
Students benefit from the interactive capability of online assessments, which include task oriented assessments, simulations, collaborative, and game based assessments as well as the ability to assess thought processes. This is contrary to traditional assessments which are relatively simplistic (multiple choice and open text item types) with minimal or no use of the interactive and sophisticated capabilities of web based applications.
Online assessment provides benefits to both the teacher and student, with students better able to demonstrate their real-world skills, experience and problem solving abilities, and trainers able to save money and effort, not only in the preparation of the assessment, but also in the processing of information.
Assessment Master, a product of SoNET Systems, is an online platform that addresses a number of current ‘pen and paper’ and ‘basic online assessment’ challenges, by allowing users to access online technology from the beginning of the process (creation of items and tests) to the end of the process (automated or manual scoring, including reporting and analytics). This is all completed with ease and at a fraction of the cost of traditional paper-based methods, which often require significant logistical effort in the creation of tests, production, delivery and the marking process.
Another key benefit of Assessment Master is that the immediacy of the delivered results is near to real time, therefore reducing the amount of time required to evaluate and efficiently manage and improve educational processes. Evaluating student outcomes is singlehandedly the most important element of training and therefore any time gained in the assessment process provides an enormous benefit to any organisation looking to simplify and better target their educational processes.
Unlike other online assessment platforms on the market, which may offer similar features, in a very rudimentary form, SoNET prides itself on creating a unique and innovative product in the Assessment Master.
Due to the versatile online content you can add to your online platform, users who conduct tests using Assessment Master find the process to be much more interesting and engaging in today’s technology focused world, compared to paper based examinations. With the option of adding visual imagery, sound, and video technology, the assessment content is enhanced, meaning that students are more likely to complete their assessments, presenting a big advantage for corporations and educational institutions which may have poor attendance rates due to uninterested students.
Another benefit of Assessment Master is that it is a more inclusive online learning platform, taking into account people’s different learning styles, whether visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. This improves the equity of access to assessment for learners, taking into account any visual, auditory, physical, speech and language impairments. This is achieved through the use of the latest access technologies (including WCAG 2.0), a set of guidelines and recommendations that increase web content accessibility for those with a disability.
Currently being used across the world to assess numeracy, literacy and ICT competency etc, Assessment Master has proven to be a sophisticated platform that has successfully been used by Governments, Universities, schools and commercial enterprises in their assessment initiatives and projects.