Conducting Examinations Online – The New Alternative

Online examinations are increasingly becoming popular in India. Almost all graduate and post-graduate level exams have gone online or are in the transition period. The limitations of the paper-based tests have left administrators with little choice and the developments in technology have given them an excellent alternative. With information technology becoming an integral part of everyday life, conducting online examinations has become feasible and easy.

The traditional system of conducting exams with a paper and pen has the following disadvantages:

  • The process of conducting an exam is time consuming for administrative staff and teaching community.
  • It is difficult and time taking to analyze the answers manually (of course the OMR sheet reduces this burden to an extent).
  • Scalability is limited when the number of candidates taking an exam increases.
  • Results and analysis are not precise.
  • There are security issues with papers being delivered to the venues physically.
  • Mal-practice is prevalent since there is human intervention at every step.
  • Storing historical information is difficult and tedious.

In comparison, the online examination system offers the following benefits:

  • It is less time consuming and more efficient.
  • Reduced usage of resources.
  • Correction and analysis are automated and easier.
  • Results can be accessed almost instantaneously.
  • Records of previous exams can be stored online and can be retrieved easily.
  • It is relatively secure since it reduces human intervention.

Of course, we are assuming that it is feasible and the required infrastructure and support system is present.

vTesting is an online examination and assessment platform used by Institutes and Organizations. If you are interested in conducting an online exam, write to sales@hubvirt.com or visit www.hubvirt.com for more information.

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Have a paperless campus

Paper is probably the resource most used on any campus apart from power. The academic fraternity consumes lot of paper for correspondence, teaching methodologies, assignments and project submissions etc. A new class of institutions is increasingly looking at green initiatives. There are various reasons behind the good intent: Differentiate the institute among competitors, save energy and money, become eco-friendly, etc.

Here are few initiatives that an institution can take up to reduce the usage of paper:

– Recycle books. Students can reuse the textbooks of senior batches.

– Automate library management

– print only if necessary and print on both sides of paper

– use e-bulletin board and reduce physical circulation of notices/ memos.

– use a comprehensive e-Learning Solution to completely do away with paper for

  • delivering course content
  • conducting exams, quizzes
  • submission of assignments and project reports
  • distribution of case studies before discussion in the class
  • and any other academic operations that involve lot of paper usage.

Anaheim University is the world’s first paperless university. Hopefully many other will follow this trend to make this world a better place. Making an institute a paper-less one sends the right signals to the student community too that the institute practices what it preaches.

For more information on how our LMS ‘vLearning’ can help you reduce paper usage, please visit www.hubvirt.com or write to: sales@hubvirt.com

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Benefits of social learning tools

It is imperative for training professionals, employees and management in an organization to understand the importance of social learning tools as part of training curriculum. Employees learn more from others and on-the-job, than in classroom sessions. Social learning tools create share-and-learn environment in the organization. There are various benefits offered by social learning channels:

  • The experience and knowledge acquired over the years is difficult to document. It can only be passed on from one person to another. This kind of knowledge transfer happens best when employees have a channel to communicate.
  • For organizations that are spread across various geographies, a virtual meeting space for the employees helps them connect to colleagues they have never met.
  • The channel can help in pooling the knowledge from various sources. Employees can refer to it when they have queries or issues.
  • Social learning channels create a healthy and collaborative work environment. They also serve as a place where employees can connect informally.
  • Hitherto non-participating employees find it easier to share and participate in the discussions in a much more forthcoming way
  • A discussion forum can allow the trainer and trainees to participate in free-wheeling discussions and the trainees can read or comment whenever they find time.
  • Blogs let the employees publish articles on their chosen interest/skill areas and others to comment and rate them.

For knowing more about the social learning features offered by vLearningPro visit:

http://www.hubvirt.com

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Social Learning Tools in LMS

Most of the training in organizations is informal. Interaction and collaboration have been the traditional methodologies of learning in an organization. With the increase in popularity of social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, there is an increase in demand to include such tools to help people collaborate and co-learn within an organization. In the Government Elearning! Magazine survey, 40 percent of surveyed enterprises are already using blogs and forums.

A comprehensive LMS includes these kinds of tools in its features by providing connections between learners and experts. This improves the efficiency of informal learning as well as creating a record of communication. It is seen as a way of facilitating informal learning or giving it structure. It also gives a platform to the learners to share their ideas and experiences which add value to the overall training/ course. When such tools capture the interest of the learner, people spend more time on the LMS and a vibrant learning environment is created.

vLearningPro is a comprehensive LMS for Enterprises, hosted and managed by hubVirt. The following model shows how vLearningPro has integrated social learning tools:

For more details on the social learning features offered by vLearningPro, visit:

http://www.hubvirt.com

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e-Learning is a ‘green’ option

There are various benefits of eLearning. One of the important benefits is that it is environment friendly. Using eLearning tools at work place would save/ reduce the following:

– paper and ink used for training

– efforts in record keeping of performance

– travel time to place of training

– administrative time

– training dissemination time

Sharing of knowledge and manuals online would be easier and time saving. It would streamline the training processes and help employees learn collaboratively.

vLearningPro is a managed online LMS for Enterprises. For more details visit: www.hubvirt.com

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Online tools for education

Educators are increasingly observing the importance of using various tools to stay connected to their students. Online communities are quite popular with the young. Most of them are free tools and young people are willing share many things with their online friends. But when it comes to communicating with their teachers, they are not too forthcoming. Not many institutes have online communities where students and teachers interact. Email is something that is used by many only for formal communication.

There are various online tools that an institute can use:

  • Teachers can share study materials
  • Students can share important links, notes, project reports, etc
  • Discussion forums and chat rooms
  • Blogs for expressing thoughts
  • Online bulletin boards
  • In-class teaching tools

There are obvious benefits from each of the tools mentioned above. A code of conduct needs to be agreed upon by users (probably similar to the one in a classroom). What educators need to realize is that students are more willing to adopt technology and accept such solutions which give mutual benefit.

Note: vLearning is a managed online learning management system which offers most of the features that the above mentioned tools provide. For more details visit: www.hubvirt.com

 

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Types of ‘Cloud’

Everyone is talking about “The Cloud” which is a pool of shared computer resources. There are various types of Cloud depending on either the location of the infrastructure provided or on the type of services provided. There are advantages and disadvantages in each type.

TYPE I: Based on the location of Cloud’s infrastructure

Public Cloud: This is the most common type of Cloud used. The end user does not have any idea about the location of the cloud’s infrastructure. The Cloud is shared by users or companies spread across the globe. This is least expensive though there are security concerns.

Private Cloud: The cloud is located at the users’ premises and cannot be accessed by other companies or users. This is used less due to the cost, but is preferred by those who have a need for high security.

Hybrid Cloud: Some companies use both private and public clouds. They host critical applications on private cloud and non-critical ones on public cloud. Some companies use public clouds only to manage high loads.

Community Cloud: This is not so common. It is used by a group of companies. For example, companies within the same city or companies of same industry sharing a cloud.

TYPE II: Based on the services offered on the Cloud

SAAS: (Software as a Service) This is the most common form of service that is used over the Cloud. Various companies offer software which is hosted over the cloud. The end user accesses the software and pays as per use. For example, Salesforce.com, hubVirt’s products.

IAAS: (Infrastructure as a Service) The infrastructure or hardware is provided by the Cloud and the rest is managed by the users. This service is used by companies or individuals who do not want to get into maintaining data storage and servers. Users need to manage the software and applications by themselves. For example, Amazon EC2. 

PAAS: (Platform as a Service) Computing platform is offered as a service over the Cloud. Life cycle of building and deploying an application is facilitated and supported over the platform. The underlying hardware and software are managed by the Cloud. Users need to develop and manage their applications. For example, Google App Engine, MS Azure.

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