Choosing the Right Online Test Platform

Explore key factors and tips for selecting the ideal online test platform

Seeking an online test platform for your organization, company, or institute? Dive into this article to gain insights into the market, discover essential product features, and empower yourself to make an informed choice.

Choosing the ideal online test platform for your company, educational institution, or non-profit organization can be a daunting task. With hundreds of products available, assessing their true capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses without hands-on experience can consume valuable time and resources. That's why we've dedicated significant effort to curating a list of essential features and characteristics that define an ideal testing platform, allowing you to focus on what matters most while avoiding unnecessary features.

Instead of exhaustive product listings and comparisons, our focus will be on highlighting the key attributes that define an ideal testing platform for each module. We aim to equip you with the right questions to ask, empowering you to confidently identify the features that matter most for your needs.

Key Modules of Online Test Platforms

The process of administering online tests involves several essential modules, including:

Question ManagementCreating and optionally centralizing test questions for future use in various assessments.
Test AuthoringDesigning and composing the test content.
Test ConfigurationSetting up the delivery parameters for the test.
Test AdministrationOverseeing the actual test-taking process.
AnticheatingProtecting the integrity of the test.
Live Monitoring and ProctoringReal-time supervision and security measures.
Subjective Question EvaluationAssessing answers to open-ended questions.
Report AnalysisReviewing and analyzing test results and performance reports.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating an Online Test Platform

By asking the following questions to the software vendor, you can thoroughly evaluate the capabilities of the online test platform and make an informed choice.

Question Management Checklist

  • Can you store and reuse test questions across multiple tests?
    • How does the platform classify questions, and does it offer a flexible system for attributes like subjects, courses, and difficulty levels?
      • Is it possible to associate content materials with relevant questions?
        • Is there an intuitive interface for navigating and locating questions easily?
          • What types of questions can you create?
            • Does the platform support features like weighted choices, multiple selections, and partial scoring?
              • Can you incorporate multimedia elements such as images, audio, and video into your questions?
                • Can you include open-ended questions in your tests?
                  • What are the allowed answer formats, including text, audio recordings, video recordings, and others?
                    • Is there a user-friendly way to preview questions and test their scoring by inputting sample answers to ensure the scoring mechanism functions correctly?
                      • Is there a straightforward process for importing and exporting questions?
                        • Can you efficiently update multiple questions simultaneously, including their default point values?
                          • Does the platform provide tools for analyzing question performance, including insights into difficulty levels and effectiveness?

                            Test Authoring Checklist

                            • Can you divide a test into multiple sections?
                              • Can you freely arrange sections, pages, and questions?
                                • Can you implement different layouts for test pages?
                                  • Can you incorporate custom content into test pages?
                                    • Can you set multiple time limits, one for each section or page?
                                      • Can you randomize pages and questions for each test-taker?
                                        • Does the test engine support systematic randomization?
                                          • Can you customize the point values for individual questions?
                                            • Can you include questions in the test that do not impact the scoring?
                                              • Can you incorporate a set of questions from which the test-taker can select the questions they wish to answer?
                                                • Can you assign dimensions to test questions to measure multiple aspects of test-takers' performance?
                                                  • Can you easily preview your test to ensure it functions as intended?

                                                    Test Configuration Checklist

                                                    • Can you control how test-takers navigate through test pages, such as restricting them from returning to previous pages or allowing free page browsing?
                                                      • When and how are test-takers prompted to answer mandatory questions? Is it upon encountering the question, proceeding to the next section, or upon test submission?
                                                        • Can you combine multiple tests into a single testing process, or do you need to invite each test-taker separately for each test?
                                                          • Can you include custom instructions for test-takers to read before starting the test?

                                                            Test Administration Checklist

                                                            • Is it possible to send personalized email invitations to test-takers in batches, and can you track the delivery status of these emails to ensure that all invitations are successfully sent?
                                                              • Can test admins notify who have logged into the testing process, who are the onces that are missing, who have started which test and who have completed the test in real time?
                                                                • How does the system authenticate test-takers and ensure that they are not allowed to access the test more than once, as desired?
                                                                  • Can you collect additional information from test-takers before they begin the test?
                                                                    • Is it possible to require test-takers to submit specific documents before starting the test?
                                                                      • Can you obtain customizable legal consents from test-takers before the test begins?
                                                                        • Is it possible for the test administrator to reinstate a test, allowing test-takers who left a test incomplete to resume from where they left off?
                                                                          • Can the system notify test administrators when someone completed a test?
                                                                            • Does the system have the capability to send a confirmation email to test-takers upon completing a test?
                                                                              • What is the maximum number of test-takers that can participate simultaneously in the test?
                                                                                • Is the testing platform cloud-based with automatic scalability, or does its performance degrade when the number of concurrent test-takers increases?

                                                                                  Anti-cheating Safeguards Checklist

                                                                                  • Can the testing platform enforce fullscreen mode and screen locking to prevent access to external resources like ChatGPT, Google, WhatsApp, etc. during testing?
                                                                                    • What measures are in place to prevent test-takers from having prior knowledge of test questions?
                                                                                      • Does the platform have the capability to record the test-takers' webcam?
                                                                                        • Can the platform also record the test-takers' screen?
                                                                                          • Is the platform equipped to analyze recorded webcam and screen recordings to detect fraudulent activities?

                                                                                            Live Monitoring and Proctoring Checklist

                                                                                            • Is there a live monitoring panel available to test administrators for real-time monitoring of test-takers' progress, offering up-to-date information on their advancements in the testing process, as well as within the test itself?
                                                                                              • What are the limits for the number of test-takers per proctor for supervision?
                                                                                                • Can proctors watch test-takers’ webcams and screens in real-time?
                                                                                                  • Can test-takers be divided into groups, allowing each group to be assigned to one or a few proctors?
                                                                                                    • Can proctors review recorded proctoring materials after the tests have been completed, even for tests conducted at different dates or times?
                                                                                                      • Can proctors flag observed fraudulent activities?
                                                                                                        • Are proctors assisted by Artificial Intelligence-backed algorithms to detect cheating attempts?
                                                                                                          • Do proctors have the ability to override the findings of the AI cheating detection algorithms?

                                                                                                            Evaluation and Grading Checklist

                                                                                                            • Does the testing platform support the evaluation of subjective answers, and does it regenerate exam reports after evaluations have been submitted?
                                                                                                              • Is the assessment of subjective answers done using percentages or nominal points?
                                                                                                                • Can custom rubrics be created to evaluate questions, and if so, how many types of rubrics does the testing platform offer?
                                                                                                                  • Are evaluators able to write reviews for the answers?
                                                                                                                    • Can test-takers access their test reports, including their questions, answers, evaluation scores, filled-in rubrics, and written reviews for their answers?

                                                                                                                      Report Analysis

                                                                                                                      • Does the testing platform generate a single score for the entire test, or does it calculate scores for each dimension or trait separately?
                                                                                                                        • Does the platform provide detailed information about the number of questions in each section or page, along with the number of answered and non-answered questions?
                                                                                                                          • Is there an option to customize the appearance and design of the test report?
                                                                                                                            • Can the report include textual interpretations for score intervals?
                                                                                                                              • Does the system offer the capability to generate a report that compares an individual's score to others?
                                                                                                                                • Can you import a benchmark or norm into the system for comparing test-taker scores?
                                                                                                                                  • Is there an option to export all scores, along with questions and answers, for further analysis using external software such as Microsoft Excel?
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