E-Assessment Services

Digital transformation of your paper-based exams and assessments 

 

e-assessment services to support online, remote exams

Transform your assessments and create accessibility, scalability and business continuity

Video overview of Catalyst e-assessment services

 

This short 1.5 minute video provides an overview of Catalyst e-assessment services

The service evolution

Catalyst IT and Monash University (Monash) worked together to deliver an e-assessment suite of tools  that would enable online exams for Monash's student base: "eAssessment".  The initial pilot went live in 2018 and was an immediate success.  As the demand for "e-Assessment" grew, the joint development team refined the technology (and its content conversion capability),  into a stable and campus-ready service solution.

Catalyst and Monash heavily extended the Moodle quiz toolset and user interfaces to deliver some key functional capabilities:

  1.  Closer student experience to a traditional paper-based exam
    Students can take notes, highlight text and have a full screen work area to write their answers. Monash was extremely focused on an online experience that allowed a pivot from the existing paper-based exams,  which has improved the e-assessment offering.

  2.  Improved toolkit for student time management
    There has been many iterations of usability improvements to allow students to see which questions they have and have not answered. There are also progress indicators and question flags to identify questions that might merit a review, if time permits. All answers within an exam can be reviewed and changed before the final exam submission.

  3.  Extended grading options for teachers and academics
    The Catalyst team worked with Monash's academic staff and learning designers during the initial exam pilots to identify opportunities for improvement.  We added some important capabilities to streamline the marking process, including blind reviewing (marking) of the exam submissions, division of grading work across markers (by question types and sections) as well as an auto-grading function for multiple choice questions. On completion, the platform collates the marked exams for final review. This supports the academic team responsibility for reviewing and grading submissions.

Explore the Concordia University eAssessment Case Study

E-Assessment technology

 

Catalyst started the e-assessment project with Monash because it recognised that paper-based exams were not aligned with their students’ expectations of a modern experience that prepares them as graduates. Every year Monash spent a considerable amount of time preparing for and administering 360,000 exams. They had become frustrated with the cost and inefficiencies of traditional exam delivery and realised they had an opportunity to innovate and provide a more authentic experience.

Monash felt they should start to assess their students on their skills for today's workforce. The "eAssessment" platform was developed as a solution with a digital delivery mechanism that provides significant cost and equity advantages for secondary and tertiary education providers.

The "eAssessment" platform is built on a dedicated instance of the Moodle LMS application, with exam-specific features and customisations. Catalyst and Monash have found that having an exam platform separate from the LMS used for teaching ensures a clean division, as students cannot access eAssessments from the core LMS instance and our eAssessment service can work alongside any LMS that you use.

The "eAssessment" solution is a secure and robust platform, employing a user friendly interface designed for students by students. We use a locked-down browser which restricts students from accessing unauthorised resources during assessments. It has been built to be inclusive, challenging and authentic to enable students to demonstrate evidence of learning at the appropriate level of study.

Digital transformation: move from paper to online assessments

Any technology is only as good as the team that delivers and supports it. Generally exam content and process needs to be modified to fully access the benefits of eAssessment in a large organisation, so we assign a team of assessment consultants to work with you to review exam content and convert into a digital format ready for delivery.

Catalyst support team staff will be there to answer questions about the most appropriate format for an exam question, how to structure and value questions in an assessment, and ensure that all student needs are considered. This extends to providing advice on new exam procedures and protocols and how to distribute and support these across your student body. We liaise with all relevant parts of your organisation to ensure that eAssessment exams are the best solution for your assessment needs.

Catalyst e-assessment services

 

Access to exam support and platform configuration experts

Access to exam support and platform configuration experts to prepare, upload and review exam content ready for live examinations.

Live exam support

Catalyst team members are on call and available during the exam periods.

Ongoing technical support and expertise

We provide ongoing technical support and expertise to assist with technical and administration issues.

Integration with your preferred eProctoring solution

Our Moodle eAssessment platform can be integrated with a wide array of eProctoring tools (both Human and AI-based).

Integrations

Add Moodle plug-ins for integration with other internal systems.

Accessibility

Our Moodle eAssessment platform supports screen-reading devices.

Data transparency

Transparent control of exam data with the security of  onshore data sovereignty and archiving. The data belongs to the institution.

Cloud infrastructure

Hosting on AWS, in a region suitable for your requirements.  Hosting is within redundant independent AWS data centres, which ensures that your site remains available and performant. 

Based on Moodle LMS

Use of one of the largest LMS projects on the planet, an Australian success story.

Benefits of e-assessment services

 

Students

  •   Electronic assessments provide a more engaging experience than using traditional paper exams.
  •   Supports emerging tech and innovation for assessment
  •   Engaging and flexible question types
  •   No more handwriting

Academic staff

  •   A wider array of question types that reflect real world scenarios, including multimedia
  •   Innovative functionality e.g. accessing authorised internet sites, free hand drawing
  •   Integration with knowledge management - Item bank
  •   Eliminates difficulty associated with illegible hand-written responses
  •   Automatic marking of many question types
  •   Online marking anywhere, as soon as the exam has finished - no need to wait for paper batching or physical delivery
  •   Enhanced insights and analytics capability
  •   Better management tools around the delegation of the marking responsibilities
  •   Platform-level support of blind marking initiatives
  •   More flexibility to adjust delivery mode, based on special circumstances of particular students
  •   Reduces risk of lost exams
  •   Tracks cohorts longitudinally

FAQs

 

Q: Do I need to be experienced in Moodle LMS to use the eAssessment platform?
A: No experience with Moodle is required by any of the team in order to use the platform for assessment delivery.

Q: Can I choose any eProctoring solution?
A: Essentially yes, as long as there is a Moodle plugin or LTI compatibility.

Q: We have a lot of content to convert into a digital format, can you help us?
A: Yes, our eAssessment consultants can help with the bulk of importing and testing.

Q: What happens if a student has an issue during the exam period?
A: This is essentially an institution-level policy decision. Our experience is that it is best to provide several support mediums for the students, allowing them to reach out to the institution both online and by phone in the instance of a serious issue.

Q: Will students have access to their exam results via the eAssessment platform?
A: Yes, if required. Although generally the notification of exam results to students might make use of another institutional solution (e.g. student management system).

Q: We want to set up students in the eAssessment platform using our student management system, can we integrate?
A: Yes.

Q: Is the eAssessment platform WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Section 508 compliant? Will it work with JAWS screen readers?
A: Yes and yes.

Create your e-assessment capability

 

Get in touch  with the Catalyst E-Assessment Development Team to explore how we can support your project.