Digital Matric Exams

With the covid-19 outbreak and other social factors, Digital Matric Exams may be the future. We discuss the benefits attached to online exams, the cons and how realistic it is in the South African context.

The covid-19 pandemic hit South African schools with a blow.  One of the biggest obstacles was ensuring that matrics were able to finish their final exams while staying safe. With all this in mind, it might be time for Digital Matric Exams to get some thought. 

Is it Time for Matric Exams to go Digital?

Global schooling trends already indicate that countries across the world are moving towards more remote methods of teaching. Some of which include: 

Digital Matric Exams will ensure the safety of students and will curb any challenges that may occur. With health concerns and other factors ,it may be time for matric exams to go digital. 

A laptop and notebook on a desk. Laptops and computers are some of the resources needed for digital matric exams.

The Benefits of Online Exams

For most people online exams may seem a little out of the ordinary. There are concerns about cheating, the integrity of the exams and how accessible it is to all students. 

But, if you dive into the world of online tests, you will find that they can actually help the overall success of students. Listed below are some of their benefits: 

  1. Prepares Learners for Work
  2. Secure 
  3. Saves Time and Money
  4. Could Curb Cheating 
  5. Remote Supervision 
  6. Saves Paper
  7. Can be Done at Home 
  8. Accessible 
  9. Enables “Open Book” Exams
  10. Takes up Less Storage Space

Prepares Learners for Work 

Online exams will give learners the chance to get a grip of basic computer skills. This will prepare them for further education and work. 

Secure

This may come as a surprise, but online exams are very secure. Learners can only access their papers once they have logged in and used a special password. 

Saves Time and Money 

Schools will be able to cut out the costs of paper, printing and hiring invigilators to assist during exams. It will also be a massive time saver as everything will be done online. 

Could Curb Cheating 

Recently, our matric exams have been hit with a few cases of cheating. But with online exams teachers could set up multiple versions of the same test. This could curb cheating massively. 

Remote Supervision 

There are programmes available that can pick up when learners are behaving strangely and allow you to zoom in on them. So supervision is still possible, but it can be done remotely. 

Saves Paper

Online exams are a much more eco-friendly approach to performing tests. Not only does it save money but it also contributes to our environment. 

Can be Done at Home 

Learners  can write exams from their homes. This avoids them interacting with large groups and travelling to exam venues which could expose them to Covid-19. 

Accessible 

This mode of assessment is more inclusive of students with physical disabilities, learning barriers and mental health issues. 

Enables ‘Open Book’ Exams

Open Book exams may sound easier. But they require students to use their critical thinking skills and apply their knowledge. These are all skills that are required beyond high school. 

Takes up Less Storage Space 

Instead of keeping paper records of students’ results, everything can be stored on a single server. 

The South African Context: Are Digital Matric Exams Realistic? 

A recent study on online and distance learning conducted by SACAI, showed that South Africa is far behind global trends in remote learning. 

In a country where many people don’t have access to basic needs, is it really realistic to expect a digital takeover in education? 

The Challenges:

The South African context is an unique one. Listed below are some of the common challenges that may prevent digital matric exams from becoming a reality: 

Lack of Computer Skills

Unfortunately, many students and learners do not have a basic understanding of computers. This will make it very difficult to implement online exams. 

Digital Devices 

Online exams could lead to further exclusion as many students simply do not have the resources and funds to access digital devices. 

Access to the Internet 

The Department of Basic Education has promised a roll out of internet access to all schools. But, this has yet to be delivered. 

Data Costs 

South Africa has some of the highest data costs. Most people simply cannot afford to keep up with monthly data expenses. 

Loadshedding

Power cuts are something that must be considered when discussing online exams. This could set students back for hours and interfere with the integrity of exams.  

The Future is Digital 

Stay safe and get your qualifications from us. The leaders in distance learning. Speak to a course consultant today: 

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Last Updated: September 2, 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
I am dedicated to creating engaging online content. I enjoy reading, writing and popular culture. House Ravenclaw. View my LinkedIn

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