Digital tests make sense for our students …
2 juni, 2016
This i was originally published here>>
Lead Teacher, Viktor Rydberg High School
We experienced a need to digitize mainly because we have been a 1:1 school for a long time. Our students use computers for basically everything, during classes, taking notes, researching, essays etc. Everything except when writing a test. The exam-situation therefore differed a lot from the rest of the education. At VRG we have a mixed environment with Macbooks, PCs and chromebooks. A necessity for the new exam-system was that it was hardware-independent.
We were one of the first piloting schools to use DigiExam, so it all started in 2012 when we received the beta version, in order to test and give feedback to DigiExam. My first impression was that the program was easy to use and that the students appreciated to write their tests digitally. One feature we helped improve was the annotation-system which effortlessly lets you annotate in students answers.
Together with the IT- Directors at VRG, I saw great potential in the platform. Now four years later a really good product has become great. We had some feedback, especially regarding the annotation-feature, which DigiExam listened to and developed a tool that simplified the feedback process for us.
Most importantly, like any new tool, it must be used. The benefits of using the program must be clear and therefore I recommend that school leaders offer DigiExam as one way of carry out exams rather than something the teachers are forced to use. We arranged for a test group of teachers to try out DigiExam before buying, and when they experienced the programme, they became ambassadors towards the rest of our teachers and the use of the program spread quickly among our five schools in the Viktor Rydberg foundation.
It was easy, much easier than expected actually. Our teachers wanted to use it and the students as well. In some cases when a certain teacher hadn’t started to use DigiExam the student asked the teacher if he or she could let them write their exam using DigiExam and then the teachers started to use DigiExam. They really embraced it. To my knowledge none of the teachers that use DigiExam has ever returned to the analogue version of handling assessments.
Over the years, the product has developed into a very stabile and reliable software. At VRG we have started to use DigiExam for quick diagnostic tests between graded exams as well. It’s great to be able to give students quick feedback and for me as a teacher to know how much of a topic the students have understood. This gives me the possibility to modify the teaching to better support the students.
It was easy, much easier than expected actually
Students and teachers are very happy with DigiExam, over 95% of our students prefer digital examinations in favor of pen and paper. It has quickly become more natural with digital tests.
More areas within education will get digitised. Next big thing for us is to a greater degree use the opportunities digital teaching platforms give us. This will enable us to offer the students a blended learning environment and then adapt the teaching for each student.