- Background of the study
It is widely believed that all tests will one day be delivered on a computer of some sort (Bennett, 1998, 2002). However, it is difficult to accurately predict when this day will come. It has seemingly been just around the corner since the early 1990s, when a handful of early adopters, including the ASVAB (Sands, Waters, & McBride, 1997) and the GRE® (Mills, 1999), signed on to computer-based testing (CBT). Today, dozens of admissions, placement, certification, and licensure testing programs are administered on a computer, with the number growing each year. On the K–12 front, several states already conduct their annual accountability testing on computer, and many others are poised to join in. Hundreds of schools or districts also employ CBTs in a formative or diagnostic role in service of instruction.
Computer-based testing (CBT) is an efficient way for testing candidates with a secure, consistent environment for certification and licensure while significantly enhancing the candidate experience. It is common for testing volumes to increase after a full conversion from paper-based testing (PBT) to CBT, often as a result of the availability of a greater number of testing locations and more flexible scheduling and testing opportunities. Migration from PBT to CBT does affect candidate behavior, however, and it is possible for some testing programs to experience brief reductions in demand triggered by candidate apprehension regarding CBT. This sometimes results in either a last-minute increase in testing during final PBT administrations or candidate procrastination to the last available computerized testing date. Therefore, the question facing licensing organizations is how to keep test volumes up and candidate uncertainty down when migrating from a paper-based to a computer-based test?
The key to mitigating test volume risk and ultimately driving an increase in demand is ongoing in the marketing, candidate education and outreach. In terms of promoting the new computerized testing program, marketing and effective communication can have an important impact on stakeholder acceptance of CBT and comfort with its use.
In order to allay candidate fears and minimize questions, it is prudent to launch a communications campaign early in the conversion process that directly addresses constituent concerns and promotes sustainable program interest.
- Statement of the problem
The challenges faced with the paper-based test is overwhelming, they include but not limited to exam malpractice, inaccuracy in marking, delay in marking results.
- Aims & Objective
The main aim of the research project is to design and implement an online computer based test system.
- To develop a CBT system that automatically generates exam numbers for students.
- To develop a CBT system with enhanced security features to avoid exam malpractice.
- To design a CBT system with real-time processing of results for candidates.
- To design a CBT system that will be in theoretical format.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study is intended to assist in some small way those practitioners who are struggling with the decision of whether to test on computer and how they might best go about doing so. It is not intended to provide an introduction to the important methods and to the considerations that dictate the use of those methods. It is far from comprehensive in this regard. To make truly informed decisions, one would need to be at least conversant if not quite familiar with most of the references listed here. In short, this is not a roadmap intended to precisely direct practitioners on their journey to computerized delivery, but rather more a guidebook highlighting some of the landmarks they will likely visit along the way. As with all trips, we need to start by deciding whether the attractions of the destination outweigh the rigors of travel.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the study
This study covered the design and implementation of an online computer-based test system, using Joint Admission and Matriculation Board as the case study.
1.8 Definition of terms
Computer Based Test (CBT): Is the use of information technology for any assessment-related activity.
Design: Is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system.
Implement: To put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect.