Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Potential applications for online testing

With most of the companies around the globe adopting online training for their employees it is inevitable for them to seek methods/systems to measure the level of learning. Most of the online courses will have some sort of a test or assessment at the end, which the trainee will be asked to submit before they can get their certifications. Quizzes within courses are meant to teach and test the understanding of the training. In other words, these tests within courses are primarily from a training perspective.

But what about the cases where your primary objective is not to provide course material but to test the candidate’s knowledge over a wide variety of skills/subjects? The organization (or the examiner) needs to be able to set metrics and measure the test takers against these metrics. You have to prepare over a wide set of skills and then take an online exam which will behave differently for each candidate. The idea behind this diversity is the usage of question pools to create such exams. Most of these desktop tools will let you create question pools and the like but it will be much easier if you could create questions in the LMS itself and then set up online exams which can be later assigned to candidates.

Vitalect's Techniq Certifier is such an online exam system.  It provides you the ability to create question pools from which you can re-use a set of questions over and over again, spanned across a number of exams. So you won't have to re-create the questions every time when you are dealing with exams of similar nature.

Let us consider some real life examples. An organizations might wish to qualify their consultants before they send them out into the field to work with their customers. They will let the aspiring consultants take these tests in a proctored environment and see the results. If the candidates fail then they can be enabled to take the test again after a certain time period. Since the questions for the same exam comes from a pool of questions the candidates will be tested differently in the subsequent attempts.