As online learning is becoming more commonplace, taking online exams may prove useful. The two main effects that online exams have on university students in the majors of English and History is decreased test anxiety. On the other hand, online exams increase test anxiety for Math majors because the work for the problem isn’t shown online as it would be in physical paper form.
For students in the majors of English and History, online exams may prove quite useful. Online exams give students in these majors alone time to think deeply about the deep concepts these majors usually discuss. Students with Spanish and Linguistics minors would do well with online exams because the written word is shown clearly on an online platform. With writing, having alone time to think is important to scoring well. In regards to Latin, the student would be able to physically view the different parts of the language online. In this way, the instructor would really see if the student truly understood the language. With the use of Microsoft Word’s function of inputting comments, the instructor would be able to give detailed feedback.
However, for Math majors, online exams may actually increase test anxiety. First, a classroom environment provides focus so a student can map out their thinking on paper. Also, having other people continuously working on the difficult problems could actually increase a student’s motivation to finish more problems. Whereas online, Math majors or Accounting and Calculus minors, wouldn’t show the pieces they already know. When it would come time to give feedback, all they would receive was a numeric score instead of what pieces they need to improve upon.
Overall, for English majors, online exams are actually a smart choice. Despite the efficiency that online exams can bring to Math instructors, the effects on students would be negative for several reasons. Therefore, instructors would be wise to consider the effects that online exams have on their students in certain majors to make sure these exams would be helping the students and not hurting them.