How was the education sector in the pre-Covid world?
The pre-Covid world was much different than now in many ways. The people could move freely without wearing masks and they were not scared of crowded places. A large number of people could come together to discuss, celebrate or carry out any social activity.
The people could go to the office and students could go to school. The students sat together in classes to learn from the teachers who took face-to-face lectures. In fact, almost everything related to teaching-learning was carried out in classrooms.
The lessons were taught only once and only a few doubts or queries asked by the students were solved. The syllabus was standard; students didn’t have a choice and also, and a lot of emphases was given to marks rather than knowledge.
Even during the exams, the students, teachers and exam invigilators travelled to the exam venue and the exams were pen and paper-based. All the tasks, such as transporting answer sheets, question papers, carrying documents and identity proofs, etc., were carried out manually.
The education policies were not suitable for every student. They were old and did not match the needs of the changing times. Education was completely devoid of technology.
But there were also some advantages of classroom-based education. The students belonging to the same age and classes were able to interact easily.
They were able to sit together, eat, play and discuss. They were able to share thoughts, teach each other and learn together.
Thus, education in the pre-Covid world has some advantages and some shortcomings.
How has Covid impacted the education sector?
The onset of Covid, which began towards the end of the year 2019, started spreading in India in the year 2020. Since then, the education sector has been completely disrupted.
The educational institutes had to shut down due to the social distancing norms. The flow of education came to a halt and all the stakeholders, including parents, students, management, authorities, government, etc., started worrying.
Everyone was confined to their homes. But this was a major loss, especially for the students, as they were getting an unnecessary gap in their education. The loss faced by the students belonging to the 10th and 12th classes was just unimaginable!
Until 2020, the older National Education Policies did not have any clauses to infuse technology in education. This made it even more difficult for educational institutes to make a switch to the online mode for education delivery.
Thus, the education sector and all the stakeholders related to education were facing a huge setback and were trying to search for alternative options to carry out teaching-learning activities.
How are the traditional classroom-based exams proving impractical?
During the Covid-19 outbreak phase, all the educational institutes, including higher education, were completely closed down. The strict social distancing norms which were imposed made the students stay at home for an indefinite duration.
The students couldn’t visit the educational institutes, which made it difficult to share, interact and learn. The teachers faced similar issues with teaching, solving doubts, giving assignments and evaluating projects.
Covid certainly affected the educational sector in a negative way. The students were losing important years of education and everyone was helpless. In some cases, this also led to some mental issues among students.
Conducting classes and exams in a classroom was no more an option. The face-to-face classroom-based learning and pen-paper-based exams became obsolete and it was time for the educational institutes to embrace technology so as to shift education from offline to online mode.
How can online remote proctored exams prove useful?
The educational institutes and government educational authorities soon realised that it was necessary for them to find options to continue education.
For a long time, technology has been used by different small and big organisations to conduct training, skill-related exams, meetings, conferences, etc. Thus, switching to online mode was the best possible alternative to replace the traditional ways of education.
Thus, technology came into the limelight. Technology helped the educational institutes to explore the modern advanced methods of performing teaching-learning activities.
The educational institutes started adopting online platforms to conduct classes on a daily basis, as also for all the exams which were conducted during the year. These online platforms helped them to organise and schedule live classes as well as conduct online exams.
There were many shortcomings related to classroom-based education, which were not addressed but rather were ignored previously. These technologically advanced online platforms helped to overcome many hurdles or shortcomings.
Below are the features of online education and remote proctored exams, which proved advantageous for the educational institutes during the Covid-19 outbreak phase and will continue to prove useful in the post Covid phase.
<> Location and time
The location has always been one of the major drawbacks faced by traditional classrooms. In the case of higher education, the students were unable to apply for the courses which were very far away from their hometowns. They could not apply for the courses which were available only in some other country.
Technology helped to bring education closer or made it easily accessible. The online courses are available 24X7 on all days of the year. Their availability is also location-independent.
Such online courses also often provide online payment options in various different currencies. All this has helped students far and wide to apply for any course of their choice.
As these courses are pre-recorded or recorded during the lecture, the school students are able to watch them whenever they want and for an infinite number of times. This helps them to understand some complex concepts in a much better way.
<> Valid certifications for niche courses
The students belonging to higher education, as also those who have part-time or full-time jobs, rely on online courses to acquire knowledge and certifications. Until 2019, very few courses were conducted in online mode as also very few of them had accreditation.
The courses completed or certifications which were acquired online were not considered valid and authentic in many organisations or educational institutes. But this scenario changed in 2020.
The online courses became accredited, which means the certifications acquired started holding value. The students were thus able to even take niche courses in online mode to strengthen their skill set.
<> Proctoring techniques
In the pen-and-paper-based exams, the students were monitored by an invigilator. As these exams were conducted in classrooms, it was easier to appoint physical invigilators to supervise the candidates.
In the case of online exams, the students appear for them from their homes which might give them many chances to cheat during the exam. But with the help of proctoring techniques, it becomes completely impossible to cheat during online exams.
Remote proctoring comes in three types – Image-based, audio-based and video-based, and is an excellent solution to catch any sort of malpractice or fraud immediately. The online examination platforms can offer you remote proctoring, auto-proctoring and AI-based proctoring techniques while conducting online exams.
The AI-based proctoring techniques, which include Chatbots, suspicious object movement detection and facial recognition, certainly help to eliminate even the slightest chance of cheating. Thus, proctoring is a very beneficial way of conducting online exams in a safe and secure environment.
<> Ease of creating questions paper and evaluating them
In the traditional scenario, the paper setter or the subject matter experts would sit down and brainstorm to create exam question papers. They had to create multiple such question paper sets so that any of them could be used during the exam to avoid leakage.
The examiners or paper checkers had to collect the answer sheets from the location and evaluate them. All the processes were manually done, which made them time and effort-consuming.
The online examination platforms can help you to simplify both of these processes. These online exam platforms offer a feature known as Question Bank Management which helps the paper setters to create, edit, save and delete question paper sets at their convenience.
The Onscreen evaluation System helps the examiners to check the answers sheets in online mode. As the answer sheets are uploaded on the portal, they can be easily accessed and evaluated by the examiners from any location by using any device.
<> Cost effective
The traditional classroom-based exams certainly involved many different small or large cost investments. The education institutes had to make a lot of different arrangements while taking classes as well as conducting exams.
These cost investments included infrastructure, which included classrooms or computer labs, different facilities, physical invigilation, logistics such as question paper and answer sheets transportation, storage of answer sheets, evaluation of the answer sheets, etc. All this not only made the examination process expensive but also time-consuming.
The online exams are conducted at home and monitored from a remote location. This helps to cut down a lot of expenses spent on infrastructure, physical invigilation, storage and transportation. Due to the presence of many features, the evaluation of these answer sheets is also simplified.
Thus the overall costs spent on numerous activities are either lowered or eliminated completely.
<> Result generation and analysis
The result generation was another time-consuming process in the traditional education scenario. The calculation of marks, comparison and analysis- everything was done manually.
This not only slowed down the result generation process but also affected the accuracy of the results due to human limitations.
The speed and accuracy of performing calculations are certainly better in the case of computers. Thus, online examination platforms can help to generate results in an easier way.
The online examination platforms have built-in algorithms which help you to generate student performance results by defining different filters. These results can be analysed with the help of a system to get a better understanding of the knowledge acquired by the students.
Needless to say, the results and the analysis reports are extremely accurate and also instantly generated.
What are the trends in online education and online proctored exams?
The education trends are always changing. These changes affect the educational stakeholders, especially the students belonging to different levels of education.
We conducted a survey to find out the latest trends in online education and the viewpoint of the stakeholders. For this purpose, we asked a few questions to the stakeholders belonging to some of the educational institutes in the country.
These educational institutes are well-known in the country and also deal in both K12 and higher education sectors.
The summary of our key findings in shown is the below graph:
Here is a list of questions that we considered while conducting the survey and the options provided to choose from for the stakeholders.
Q1) Do you think that continuing online classes and exams in online mode is a good option for students?
For kids belonging to the K-12 level, online classes can prove very beneficial not only for conducting lessons in school but also for conducting hobby classes. The students can easily take up hobby classes such as dancing, playing an instrument or painting in online mode.
For higher education:
Online education eliminates the issues related to location dependency, time as also expenses. Online education also makes it easier for higher educational institutes to arrange guest lectures. This way, even the guest lecturers who belong to a different remote location will be able to share his/her knowledge with the students in a simple way which would prove very helpful for the students to build their careers.
Q2) Is online education more cost-effective than traditional classroom-based education, especially in the post Covid phase?
Many stakeholders, including the parents and educational management, seem to think that online education is costlier than traditional classroom-based education. But only those stakeholders who have adopted online platforms to conduct classes and examinations are aware of the fact that online education is, in fact, cheaper than traditional classroom-based education.
Q3) Do you think blended learning can prove advantageous to the students?
Blended learning is one of the most recent trends in the educational sector in the coming years. Blended learning is a mixture of the best practices used in both online and offline methods of education.
In the case of K-12, the educational institute can conduct 50% of classes in online mode and 50% offline. The educational institutes can even conduct oral or viva exams in online mode for the K-12 students.
For higher education:
Blended learning can enable higher educational institutes to conduct practical exams on the institute premises and lectures in online mode. This helps both the students and the institute management to maintain social distancing and follow the method of blended learning in the most beneficial way.
Q4) Do you think blended learning will affect education in a positive way?
The concept of blended learning is created to give equal importance to both offline and online education, as both of these methods of education have their own perks.
Blended learning will help the educational institutes to continue with the education even in the worst situations, which would prove beneficial to the students as well. It will also help to digitise education and improve its quality.
Q5) Can blended learning help to reduce the time and effort of the teachers?
Blended learning involves classroom education (mostly practical exams and vivas) and online classes. During the online classes, the teachers are able to record their sessions and then share the videos with students.
This helps the teachers tremendously to cut down the time and efforts which they would invest in explaining the complex concepts again and again to the students. The students can watch the videos any number of times until they truly understand.
Q6) Do you think adopting remote proctoring would prove cost-effective for both the students and education management?
Remote proctoring makes use of technology to monitor students during online exams. This helps educational institutes to reduce the costs involved in appointing invigilators for physical supervision.
Not just that, it eliminates the need for arranging a different venue to conduct exams, logistics, infrastructure, etc., which help to reduce the costs furthermore. It helps the students to eliminate the costs required for travelling to the exam location and creating photocopies of the documents.
Q7) Do you think conducting remote proctored online exams would be able to disallow cheating carried out using electronic devices, textbooks and notes?
The online examination platforms are created using powerful Artificial Intelligence based mechanisms. These mechanisms help you to detect any sort of abnormal behaviour which happens in case of cheating using electronic devices, textbooks or notes.
The system can sense even the slightest discrepancy and can immediately send error notifications.
Q8) Can blended learning and online proctored exams become the future of the Indian Education sector?
Blended learning for education delivery and remote proctoring for online examinations are trending in the education sector. The popularity of these new trends is gaining popularity because they are proving advantageous to all educational stakeholders.
Both of these trends have the potential to improve the ways of teaching-learning. These trends can completely transform the face of education by digitising it. Both of these trends certainly have the potential to become the future of the Indian Education sector.
Q9) Do you think the implementation of new National Education Policies will change the face of Indian education in a positive way?
The new set of Indian Education Policies has been created by considering the need to introduce technology in education. Digitalization of classroom-based education is the main aim of these Indian Education Policies.
It thus includes changes which would make use of technology to deliver education. It puts focus on continuing the conduction of classes and exams in online mode. There are also many other changes drafted in these policies. All these changes together will surely help to change the face of Indian education in a positive way.
Q10) Do you think technology has the capacity to improve the current state of the Indian Education system?
There is nothing in this world that technology cannot change. Education is a sector which requires digitalisation as a part of an upgrade.
Advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc., are really powerful and can certainly help to improve the current state of the Indian Education system in the best possible way.
Q11) Can technology be able to provide good quality education to students belonging to all levels of education?
Technology like Virtual Reality can help students belonging to the K-12 level to visit real-life places virtually. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence can understand the exact needs, likes and dislikes or strengths and weaknesses of the students and can help them to learn accordingly.
For higher education:
Virtual Reality can help conduct practical sessions by creating a real-life three-dimensional world for the students to practice. Artificial Intelligence can help them to understand even the most complex concepts easily due to the feature of personalised learning.
Thus, technology can only make it easier for the teachers to provide better education to all the students belonging to different levels of education.
Q12) Can we depend or rely on technology to take up the responsibility of educating the coming generations in the right way?
Technology is a potent source of simplifying every job. Technology keeps on advancing and becoming powerful. The new technological inventions are worth adopting as they are going to make our lives easier.
The use of technology in the form of online platforms is definitely going to prove very beneficial to the education sector. In the coming generation, technology will get better and better which will improve its importance and increase our dependency on it.
An online examination platform is necessary to be adopted if you wish to simplify the process of conducting online exams. Eklavvya is one of the best platforms which has been adopted by many educational institutes and organisations to carry out every activity related to online exam conduction.
Eklavvya can help you to conduct remote proctored online exams in the simplest way as it is developed using the best technology and algorithms. Eklavvya offers all the features trending in the online examination industry.
Thus, Eklavvya is the best online examination platform which can help you to conduct exams in a safe, secure, reliable, error-free, user-friendly and hassle-friendly way.
Over the last few years, especially after the covid situation, the trends in remorse proctored exams have evolved a lot.
- More schools and colleges are promoting online exams with the use of remote proctors.
- Timings of the online classes and online exams are getting flexible with the help of the remote proctored exams.
- Better security is maintained now due to the advanced remote proctored exams and this has led to lesser cheating by the students.
- Remote proctored exams are making the exam process much more agile and it ultimately saves the time and effort of the students as well as the faculties.
With each passing year, new trends are getting introduced in the education system. Here are some of the new trends in evaluation that are being used.
- Schools, colleges, and educational institutes conducting online exams are using remote proctoring software for not just scalability but also higher security.
- The faculties go for online evaluation, which saves time and effort and also is known to increase the efficiency of the assessment and evaluation.
- The chances of cheating are much decreased with remote proctoring as the software notifies the faculty of any behaviour of the student that is sceptical and the faculty can assess accordingly.
The perception of the students for online assessment has changed quite much now. When a survey was conducted, it was found that students were quite happy with the online assessment system, especially during the pandemic. There are so many reasons for the students to get happy because of the online assessment and some of them are listed here.
- There is no need to commute to the exam centre as the students can appear for the test from any remote location and using any device.
- Online assessments are comfortable to appear in terms of answering questions faster when compared to offline exams for students.
Remote Proctor is an efficient software to detect cheating done by students during an online exam. The software keeps an eye on the behaviour of the student and also other factors in picking up moments that may be suspicious. One of the major factors that the proctor detects is screen sharing. This means that the student cannot divert to any other screen on the computer while appearing for the exam. If a student thinks that he or she will check answers on the web browser, the newly opened tab is also detected by the system and this is spotted and notified to the faculty of suspicious action.