Online assessments are based on using computer technology and the networking ability of the Internet to deliver and score tests. Many different question formats are available and can be implemented within the same test, such as multiple choice, multiple response, fill in the blank and true/false. Online assessments are given by employers to test applicant’s prior knowledge, in schools, and as a part of online seminars.

Advantages for Students

Online assessments can give you instant feedback, unlike paper examinations in a traditional classroom learning session. Automated online assessments give you the option of taking practice tests whenever you want. Students don’t always have to be in a classroom setting to take assessments. Some assessments are Internet-based, which allows the student to take the test at home or anywhere else he likes.

Advantages for Teachers

Teachers can distribute multiple versions of the exams and assignments without having to manually monitor which students got which tests. This cuts down on cheating. Electronic assessments allow teachers to quickly evaluate the performance for the group against the individual. Report-generating capabilities help teachers identify learning problem areas for the group and individual students. Online assessments take up less storage space in respect to keeping records than paper. All data can be stored on a single server. Teachers can mix and match the question styles on exams, including graphics and make them more interactive than paper exams. Eliminates human error in grading.

Disadvantages for Students

Answers on online assessments can only be right or wrong. There is no room for explaining your answer or getting partial credit. For example, in a geometry or calculus exams on paper, a teacher can see how you worked out your equation. He can identify where you went wrong to come up with the wrong answer. In this case, he can give you partial credit. Online assessments don’t give teachers the options to see your line of thinking to get to your answer.

Disadvantages for Teachers

Technology isn’t always reliable. Information can be lost if a system breaks down. In some cases, teachers need some technical expertise to create exams. The costs to set up an electronic assessment system in a learning institution or business training environment can cost thousands, even tens of thousands. Testing online is not suitable for essay writing and analysis or cognitive thinking testing.