Education Technology (EdTech) has proved nothing but a boon to the entire educational sector during the difficult times of pandemic. The dreadful Covid Era has given rise to a delightful new era, the Digital Era.
Approximately 1.5 million schools had to close down due to the pandemic. This year, just when the Indian government was thinking about opening the schools, the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak started to make an appearance. The mandatory shutdown continued and so did the inevitable social distancing norms.
Thus, the education system was pushed to continue their dependency on the online modes of education. The classes and examination continued to be conducted in online mode enabled the students and other educational stakeholders to progress with the teaching-learning activities as well as helped them adhere to the social distancing directives.
All the students and teachers have been using for tech-enabled ways of education since last year due to pandemic situation. The total of 320 million learners in India had to switch over to e-learning.
By now, they have become so accustomed to them, that online education seems to have become the new normal.
Around 3500 EdTech start-ups existed in 2018. Many new EdTech companies have started coming up since last year.
Advancement in the Technology has been providing many innovative tools or platforms for conducting online classes, exams, providing admissions, video conferencing, etc. Let us understand the top 5 tools which are a must have for carrying out educational activities smoothly.
The EdTech tools are platforms which can help you to carry out activities related to education in an online manner. These platforms can form an entire system which support each and every activity related to teaching-learning. Let us see each tool one by one along with its advantages.
Live Classes Management
Since the pandemic hit the world, Live classes has been proved as a blessing. Live classes are conducted by schools, colleges, coaching classes or by anyone who wishes to include activities related to teaching or learning.
Being one of the most essential and most used tool by the educational institutions, it has become an absolute necessity to adopt a platform for Live class Management.
As the name suggests, a Live Classes Management platform helps to schedule, conduct and record online lectures/classes for the students. With the help of these platforms, the live classes can be made interactive by involving face-to face interaction even though the teachers and the students are present in different locations.
Live Classes Management platforms can provide features using which the teachers can create schedules, plan topics/lessons to be taught, give assignments to students and respond to their queries or provide feedbacks about their assignments.
These Live Classes Management platforms provide an environment to the students wherein they can present their work, can hold group discussions, watch the live lectures again if required as also provide feedback about the teacher or the class conducted.
Thus, such a platform for Live Classes Management can turn monotonous online classes into a learning activity which is interesting and filled with fun. This way, Live Classes Management can help both the students and teachers to never lose interest and make every class valuable and worth attending.
There are many video conferencing tools available in India such as ezTalks, Zoom, Google Classroom, etc. which can help teachers to conduct online classes as also provide the features mentioned above. Other LMS tools such as LearnCube, Electa LMS are all-in-one virtual classroom tools specially designed for school students and teachers.
Online Admission system
Admission is the fundamental step for acquiring education. It marks the beginning of a student’s education journey. Hence, it becomes necessary to ensure flawlessness of the admission process.
Online Admission platforms are web based applications which can be accessed from anywhere by anyone. These platforms provide many features which help to carry out end to end admission process.
An online admission platform offers various different features which help to automate the entire process in few easy steps viz., accepting online applications, downloading of hall tickets for entrance exam, scheduling and conducting entrance exam, processing of the results and generating merit list, providing admission and collecting fees. All these activities can be carried out in online from any location.
The online admission systems are advantageous in many ways. They help with faster management of data, efficient management of traffic, management of customer query, provide easy ways of communication and customer query management as also generate reports for data analysis.
These online admission platforms provides few other benefits such as customizations, Cloud based data management, Entrance exam management, language support, option to pay as you go, etc.
Most of these online admission platforms such as ePravesh are developed using innovative advanced technology and it is tried and tested many times to ensure error-free and seamless execution of every process, and it provides all these functionalities and benefits at a much reasonable cost.
Online Exam with Proctoring
As we know, examinations play a key role in education. Hence, cancelling or avoiding them is just not the right option.
In the beginning, many educational institutes were doubtful about adopting online examination platforms for their schools or colleges. Some of them also faced some challenges related to security and integrity while conducting examinations.
The online examination platforms can be created using advanced technology and algorithms which makes them extremely functional and efficient. They are embedded with many features and mechanisms which help to keep a close watch on the students’ activities to prevent cheating or malpractices during online exam.
The process of remote proctoring is one of the best ways which can be used to stop students from cheating in any possible manner.
Here are three ways of proctoring which can potentially prohibit students from cheating in the online exam:
• Image based proctoring:
The system takes photos or images of the students while they are giving the exam by using the web cameras. The system then compares these photos from the one which is already stored in the database. The system will send an error notification to the proctor (supervisor) who is monitoring the students remotely if there is any discrepancy in the captured image.
• Audio based proctoring:
The system is developed using sound – sensitive mechanism which is used to capture even the slightest sound coming from the student’s side/background. If the system senses any sort of deviation, it immediately send an error notification to the proctor.
• Video based proctoring:
The video footage of the student appearing for the exam is captured with the help of web camera so that the video can be downloaded easily for school/college purpose. Also a proctor continuously keeps a watch on the students through web camera remotely.
Below given is a list of some other mechanisms which can further prove helpful in stopping the students from cheating in every possible way:
• Secure Browser:
Prevents the students from opening any window other than exam window. It also stops any software which can take screenshots or record anything from running in the background.
• IP address based login:
As soon as the student logs into the test, the IP address of the system is noted and stored in the database. This enables the students to login and start the exam from only one machine at a time.
• Audit logging:
The system tracks every activity of the student appearing for the exam and keeps them as records. The system thus tracks the start and end time of the exam, exam question navigation activity, clicking of mouse button, etc.
• Object movement detection:
The system is developed using an Artificial Intelligence powered mechanism which helps to detect any electronic object being used by the student. It also helps to detect suspicious movements such as referring to books by the students appearing or the online exam.
• Live chatting:
This is another Artificial Intelligence powered mechanism which enables the students and the proctors to chat with each other at anytime during the exam. This helps the students to get their exam-related queries resolved quickly and helps the proctors to chat with the students if they are found cheating.
Thus we can see that Remote Proctoring is one of the most significant features which every online examination platform must provide to maintain integrity of the exam.
An online education platform such as Eklavvya which possesses all methods of proctoring, all the mechanisms mentioned as well as some other additional features powered by advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence can help you to conduct online examinations securely and successfully.
Online Question Paper Generation
In an exam, question Papers are as important as the examinations. Thus, an online examination platform which helps to generate question papers online is very much essential.
The platforms which can help you with online paper generation can also help you to schedule and conduct exams. They will help your educational institutions to create, store and download the question papers as and when required.
For doing this, a feature of Question Bank has been provided by these platforms. This feature provides independent access and login credentials to every Paper Setter or Subject Matter Expert. The Paper Setter or the Subject Matter Expert can log into the system and can create/update or delete the question bank related to their particular subject.
They would not be able to view the question banks created by other people for any other subjects. They can create multiple such banks in their login and choose any one to present as question paper before the online exam.
The online paper generation platforms offer many features to create the different types of questions belonging to different categories and patterns as well. For doing this, they provide the most advanced and robust security mechanism as well.
Different types of questions such as objective, subject, audio-based or even video-based questions can be defined. The Paper Setter or Subject Matter Expert can create a question bank by defining the difficulty of the exam, name of subject, name of the exam, time provided to complete the exam, marks for each exam, etc.
Thus questions or the question paper thus defined are stored on Cloud securely in an encrypted format. This helps to eliminate the leakage of question papers before the beginning of the exam.
These platforms also provide a feature to shuffle the questions for each student. Thus, in this way, the online question paper can be easily created, stored and generate in a very secure and a fail-safe way by adopting a platform which supports Online Paper Generation.
Online platforms such as Eklavvya not only help in conducting online exams but also help in creating and maintaining question banks by providing role based access. Thus, it can help in generating online question papers as and when required.
Onscreen Evaluation System
One of the most important processes which come after examination is the process of answer sheet evaluation. Thus, Onscreen Evaluation System is necessary to be adopted for any educational institution who decides to adopt an online examination system.
The Online Evaluation systems are not only effective but also multi-functional. These platforms are specially designed to make the process of online evaluation much uncomplicated and easy to use by anyone.
The first step in the process of Onscreen Evaluation is uploading of answer sheets on the Cloud after the online exam is complete. The examiners can log into the system and access the set of answer sheets assigned to them for evaluation.
The examiners, thus can see answer sheets from anywhere at any time and evaluate them.
An Onscreen Evaluation System provides many options or features to the examiners for evaluation. It provides option to give quarter, half or one mark for any answer or even mark an answer as correct or incorrect.
It provides options to add comments, to keep a track of every checked or unchecked question and to compare answers with model answers.
The system automatically marks the blank pages and calculated the total of the marks given by the examiner.
These answer sheet are then uploaded back to Cloud from where they can either be shared with the students or with the Moderator for second evaluation.
An Onscreen Evaluation System such as eParikshan does offer loads of options and mechanism to which can help to make online evaluation of answer sheets extremely simple. By using a platform such as eParikshan, the examiner will always feel that the job of checking answer sheet online is far better than offline.