As knowledge management becomes one of the key areas for future development, experts still debate the merits of traditional testing and compare it to the computer-based one. Whether it comes to making adjustments to the Learning Management System (LMS), or testing solutions regarding Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), some people still prefer the old ways over the new. This position is understandable, but it is also important to take an objective view of the current situation and make plans for the future.
What kind of testing is the most dominant nowadays?
It goes without saying that the traditional, paper-based approach is by far more users across the board. Due to its low cost, ubiquitous status, and the fact that it has been proven in action time and time again, a lot of people prefer it over the uncertain, costly alternative that is CBT. However, times are changing, and those that fail to keep up will be left behind. With that in mind, CBT has been gaining in popularity as a knowledge management tool, especially over the last decade. The sheer amount of research on this topic has been growing at an exponential rate, but conclusions are still… inconclusive.
The thing is, technology is developing at such a rapid pace that studies and their findings cease to be relevant in a matter of years, so a lot of the initial studies have been rendered inconsequential a long time ago. Besides, the computer experience an average candidate has nowadays is vastly different from what it would have been a decade ago, or what it will be a decade from now. However, if there is a general consensus on this issue, at least when it comes to studies conducted within the last three years or so, it would be that there is no major difference between CBT and PBT, as the difference is smaller than 0.05%. Of course, this may change in the future.
Knowledge management today – use of modern technologies
As technology advances, so do the testing methods, even at lower education levels – not to mention companies. For one, computers and tablets have been present in most schools for years, in some form or another. The increased level of interaction between students and teachers has also resulted in additional testing methods, that are done via computers and other devices. At the university level, many institutions resort to OpenCourseWare (OCW), Google Classroom, or similar solutions for knowledge management problems.
As for companies and solutions aimed primarily at adults, we can see an ever-increasing use of social networks for educational purposes. The potential to adopt knowledge from one’s peers as well as its success rate has not gone unnoticed. Webcams, whiteboards, and screencasting have all found their uses in this area as well.
Paper-based vs. computer-based testing
Each of them has certain benefits over the other. For instance, the cost of paper-based testing is essentially boiled down to a sheet of paper and the person in charge of monitoring the exam, whereas computer-based testing requires electricity, computers, and other means that make the initial costs much higher. On the other hand, it is a lot easier to implement en masse and is arguably much safer in terms of administration. Then again, it all depends on the level of measures implemented against cheating and the level of commitment on behalf of those being examined.
In the long run, however, CBT does involve a number of advantages. For one, exams do not need to be shipped to a physical location, so there should be no delays or associated costs. Simple encryption should keep away most troublemakers. Most importantly, scoring is a lot faster in this regard, as everything is done electronically. The probability of human error is much lower as well. One downside is that this only applies to certain types of tests, so scoring essays in this manner is still far too good to be true. PBT will most likely remain in use, at least on some level – until CBT technology has advanced enough to take over entirely.
CBT in practice
Before introducing a virtual learning environment, many institutions specializing in education such as Cambridge were beyond reach to the overwhelming majority of people. After all, you can only fit so many people inside a classroom at one time. However, after making the switch to include advanced technologies complete with CBT, the overall level of education has increased dramatically. This is a life-changing opportunity for people who could not afford to study at a prestigious university due to lack of funds or because they have to support their families. In the future, however, most universities will offer their services online in one form or another, while maintaining the regular, physical lessons to those who can afford them.
From language teaching to gaining new skills, various companies all around the world have resorted to this kind of knowledge management for their employees, especially in the IT sector. The ability to create a universal test, translate it into a number of languages, and conduct it simultaneously in several different countries has not gone unnoticed by major companies. There are even companies that specialize in conducting computer-based testing and offering their services to schools and businesses alike.
YouTestMe Software Solutions
YouTestMe recognized the potential of improving modern ways of testing and developed two knowledge testing platforms that are very competitive in today’s e-learning market. The first solution is Classroom 2020, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that offers a wide set of features bound to improve the quality of lecturing and testing. It was designed for schools, colleges public, and government institutions. The second solution, Get Certified, a quiz maker and certification platform, answers to the constant requirement of employee training and certification. But those are only a few features that our products have. Feel free to sign up for free demos of Classroom 2020 and Get Certified to see for yourself all of the advantages of modern knowledge testing solutions.