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Top 5 Tips for Creating an Ideal Online Test for the Classroom

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 1/24/2010

When it comes to online classroom test, things tend to vary from traditional classroom environment. Here are some good ways to create an ideal online test for the classroom, and handy tips to restrict students from cheating.

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    Overview

    Creating a good online test for the classroom may not be as easy as it sounds, especially when the strength of the class is on the higher side. Of course, you won’t find a standard answer to the question as to how to create a good online test for the classroom, but there are many things that you should keep in mind, while trying to do so. Here are 5 handy tips to help you out in this regard.

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    1. Randomize the Order of Questions

    First of all, it is quite obvious that higher the strength of class, greater will be chances of cheating. So, in order to prevent the students from cheating (at least consulting among themselves, let aside using books and on line directories), you may want to randomize the order of questions.

    Remember, it is not a great idea to create several small sections within the question paper and randomize only the sub-sections, because it becomes easier for the students to find the sub-questions and discuss among themselves.

    Therefore, you may consider randomizing even the order of sections as well as the order of questions appearing in those sub-sections.

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    2. Apply Time Limit of Each Section

    Should the students be able to figure out the whereabouts of the questions contained in various sub-sections, they shouldn’t be given a chance to discuss the same with their pals. In order to do so, applying time limit on every section may be a fantastic idea. By doing so, you force the students to only concentrating on answering the questions on their own, rather than looking for answers from neighboring classmates, online encyclopedias and reference text books.

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    3. Multiple Choice Questions with Multiple Answers

    When you create online question paper with multiple choice questions, it makes the life of students even easier, as cheating in such cases becomes a cakewalk. They can even exchange/cross-check answers in sign language, writing on rough sheets, exchanging glances and hundreds of other ways that probably you can’t even fathom of.

    However, when you declare that a question can have multiple answers, it keeps them guessing about the possible answers. By doing so, you prevent them from discussing the answers and even referring to books and other sources where they may look for a solution.

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    4. Conduct Batch-Wise Tests

    If the strength of your class is too high, you can even consider diving the class into few batches and conducting online tests for each batch separately. Conducting online tests for different batches may turn out to be a bit tedious, especially if there isn't too much of room to accommodate the other members that are sitting idle.

    But the least that you can do from your side is that while a batch of students is undertaking the test, you can keep small quiz session or a Q&A session for the rest of the students or give them small assignments to keep them engaged. This will also prevent the students who’re involved in test, from discussing/seeking help from those who’re currently not taking up the test.

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    5. Divide and Conquer

    On the other hand, you may also consider dividing the entire class into batches and conducting online test for all batches at a time; but you may create multiple versions of the same question paper with minor variations (framing same question in multiple ways). This will help you in evaluating the skills and knowledge of each batch in a fair manner, but the variations in the question paper will disguise the students, giving them the impression as though all the question papers are different.

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    More Tips

    These are only basic tips that are going to teach you how to create a good online test for the classroom, but you should also keep many more things in mind. While creating an online test, you should try to ensure that the solutions to the questions that you pick, aren't readily available in textbooks, online guides or otherwise.

    Remember, students will not have enough patience to search too much; so if you handicap them by limiting their ways in which they can try to cheat, you're most likely to get the job done!

    You may also be interested in taking a look at Top 5 Online Classroom Design Considerations to improve the efficiency of your classroom program.