Online testing one of many tech benefits

January 15th, 2015

Technology is being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. There are companies that have begun to jump on the trend, along with others that have been honing their products for some time. Additionally, schools have been either early adopters or come late to the game. The bottom line is that centers for education of every type will be using technology in a big way, and the colleges that begin soonest will have the best chance at attracting students who have been accustomed to computers since grade school.

Two major areas where tools like dental software shine are through exams and in their ability to function on the cloud, allowing for multiple channels of access.

Technology's influx into the testing arena
Currently, there are computer programs of every caliber on the market. According to The Miami Herald, public schools in Florida are using software to do standardized testing. The programs, which have been maintained by different agencies, are not up to the same standards as many tools used commercially, such as the kind of dental academic software that a college can rely upon, but the system itself is sound.

When a school has the ability to test its students using online software, then students can do their testing at home in an open-book format. They can also bring their laptops to the classroom and be tested there. The software is sophisticated enough that it can detect when a student goes offline or opens another window to try cheating. The questions are also given randomly, to prevent students from looking at someone else's test. It may even be easier to cheat with a pen and paper exam than with a computerized test.

Grading the exams is much easier because everything can be done in a flash. The only work that has to be checked individually are the essay questions. For studies that focus on memorizing parts of the human mouth, students will be asked to fill in boxes or select from a multiple choice list. If a student spells a word wrong, the computer will mark the answer as incorrect. However, students can talk to their professors after looking over exams, and if the professor feels the word was close enough to the right spelling, then he or she can choose to give that student extra points.

If an exam is essentially a fill-in-the-blank test, then the grades will go up as soon as the teacher decides, which can often be only an hour or two after everyone has taken the exam. The days when students would wait a week for exams to come back would essentially be over if college professors switch to online exams.

Other trends
According to Information Week, a major incentive for students and professors alike who are using programs like the latest dental and oral hygiene academic software is the ability to access it from many channels. For example, someone can use cloud-based technology whether he or she has a Macintosh or Windows laptop, or an iPhone, tablet computer or Android phone. It doesn't matter what brand or type of machine is being used – everything can access the cloud so long as it has an application that can open websites.

This is useful because of the proliferation of devices. It means that students can use the computers in the school to do their homework, or they can work from home or while riding in a car. Information such as quiz or exam scores can be found virtually anywhere at any time. Professors have the same access, so they can grade homework from their office or during a trip to a conference.

Schools that adopt these tools early will reap the benefits, while those that remain behind will find that students will choose schools that have the tools they have grown used to.

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