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An online examination system is a software solution that allows a company or a teaching institute to prepare and manage examinations across an online platform. This can be done through Internet, Intranet and/or LAN environments. The purpose of this paper is to create an online examination system application that utilizes network laboratories available in any college. The application greatly reduces the time required to administer the examination and handout the results. The examination will consist of objective questions, and the system will provide an easy-to-use graphical user interface for lecturers to ask questions and for students to answer them. The application was developed with ASP.net, providing a better performance than scripting languages. This web application uses ASP.net with C# in the front end and MySQL as the background of the interface on the Apache Server Framework and supports the HTTP/HTTPs protocol with English.
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Online Examination System (Electronic
Learning)
Sarah Ali Abdullah, Tariq Adnan Fadil, and Noor Ahmed
Abstract An online examination system is a software solution that allows a company
or a teaching institute to prepare and manage examinations across an online platform.
This can be done through Internet, Intranet and/or LAN environments. The purpose
of this paper is to create an online examination system application that utilizes
network laboratories available in any college. The application greatly reduces the
time required to administer the examination and handout the results. The examina-
tion will consist of objective questions, and the system will provide an easy-to-use
graphical user interface for lecturers to ask questions and for students to answer
them. The application was developed with ASP.net, providing a better performance
than scripting languages. This web application uses ASP.net with C# in the front end
and MySQL as the background of the interface on the Apache Server Framework
and supports the HTTP/HTTPs protocol with English.
Keywords E-learning ·E-examination ·Proposal system ·Student ·Teacher ·
Manager
1 Introduction
Electronic learning (E-learning) has been a rapidly growing aspect of education
systems, allowing the move form classic in class learning to virtual classrooms
and online courses and examinations. Testing is a large part of assessing education
S. A. Abdullah (B)·N. Ahmed
Department of Media Technology Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Information
Technology and Communications (UOITC), Baghdad, Iraq
e-mail: sarahaabdullah@uoitc.edu.iq;sarahaliabdullah6@gmail.com
N. Ahmed
e-mail: noor.ahmed@uoitc.edu.iq
T. A. F ad il
Department of Computer Engineering Techniques, Dijlah University College (DUC), Baghdad,
Iraq
e-mail: tariq.adnan@duc.edu.iq
© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021
R. Kumar et al. (eds.), Research in Intelligent and Computing in Engineering,
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 1254,
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15- 7527-3_30
309
310 S. A. Abdullah et al.
outcomes; they require being fair through transparency and unbiased marking. Since
most institutions around the world are moving away from paper-based framework
to paperless, online examination systems can employ modern internet technologies
to produce a testing environment that is time efficient, easy to use and specifically
designed to meet the needs of students and teachers [6].
Today, online examination systems can assess student achievement and help
teachers deliver fair and open results. During an online examination, all students’
computers must contact the examination server for examination subjects [4].
This paper describes a system designed for Djilah university and based around its
specific resources and requirement, but can be generally applied in any university or
collage aiming to reduce the demanding task of assessing student’s test answers, then
recording them and delivering them manually. With this application, test performance
is assessed automatically and the results are delivered instantly, which will reduce
paperwork and improve the student experience. The first step in developing the system
was examining the requirements given by the university, and the capabilities of the
university laboratories then refine those into a complete, concise description of the
system requirement. Secondly, the system was designed around these requirements,
from which features were added as necessary to allow students to register, log in and
maintain a profile via a special ID so they can keep track of all their performance
reports.
2 Paper’s Contribution
Suggests solutions to the limitations of paper-based examination systems.
Establish an online examination system aimed at enhancing the skills of students
and teachers at the university or college.
Provide a flexible, intelligent and appropriate method for conducting tests and
evaluating students.
Provide students with a user-friendly, fun guide to help simplify the testing
process.
Improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as the general standard of
education by strengthening academic assessment methods.
3 Implications for Practice and/or Policy
Online examination system is designed for Educational Institutes (like schools,
universities, training centers).
The system handles all the operations; however, it will require time to prepare the
examination for the first usage.
Allow students to see or display their answers after the examination is finished.
Requires at least the same number of computers as students.
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 311
The user can only login with his username and password assigned to him, i.e., no
guest login feature.
The type of questions is only multiple choice or true and false.
The methodology to solve the problem can’t work in a proper manner.
4 Paper-Based Examinations Versus Online Examination
Systems (OES)
Paper-based examinations (PBE) have been used, somewhat effectively, to measure
students’ knowledge and understanding of problem-solving techniques. While these
tests are useful in many ways, they can be limited in how efficient it can be. PBE
can be easily affected by human error, personal bias and limited by the resources it
uses, human and material. PBE are also time-consuming, formatting the test papers,
distributing, collecting and marking all required time and special procedures that
can be repetitive and fallible. The results are frequently delayed; the tests must
be heavily regulated in setting time and test location. The test becomes limited by
security and increasing costs that include printing test papers or hiring additional staff
for regulating the test process. All these elements result in a rigid system that, while
capable of evaluating students, is highly inefficient in its application. The importance
of tests combined with the ineffectiveness of PBE necessitated the search for more
efficient alternative testing methods and platforms [1].
Since a lot of administrative processes have been moving away from paper to
digital communication, it was natural for testing systems to take that step as well.
This introduced the concept of online examination, which includes moving testing
process and procedures to an online platform and includes a major shift in university
polices such as hiring technical support and training students and teachers to use
newer technologies [3]. Online examination systems (OES) typically uses multi-
choice question (MCQ) formatting to simplify the automation of the grading process
and can issue results almost instantly, which improves the user experience for both
test takers and administrators. There can be many added features such as limiting the
testing time, allowing the examiner to evaluate answers remotely and send out results
via e-mail or publish them on the university website [5]. Ideally, an OES consists of
a web application and a database that contains students’ information and test data.
Security features and error handling mechanisms must be added to the servers, the
network and the devices used in the testing process. The test can be either taken via a
special application software using intranet, or via online browser (Internet explorer,
Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) if hosted online. Alternatively, testers can use the
internet browser to access a local servers to take the test, edit personal information
of upload documents [2].
312 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Fig. 1 The proposed system layout
5 Proposed System
The following sections will introduce the proposed system layout, requirements,
specifications and the system flowchart. Figure 1illustrates the suggested system
layout. The proposed system represents the limits and scope of the online testing
system project. It describes the main objective of the system and its entities. The
administrator, teacher and student modules include part of the online examination
functionality. The online test material is prepared by an administrator. The adminis-
trator adds registered information to the online examination database which can be
modified or deleted as needed. The teacher adds questions to the online test questions
sheet carefully. The question numbers are generated automatically. The full results
for students can be viewed by the examination teacher and the administrator at any
time after completion of the examination. The student must only be allowed to login
to take the examination and after completing the examination and sending it, the
answers are evaluated and results are generated immediately.
6 System Block Diagram
The system’s block diagram summarizes the overall specification of the online exam-
ination system (OES) as can be seen in Fig. 2. The relationship between entities that
constitute the OES system is designed using the entity relationship scheme.
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 313
Fig. 2 Entity relationship diagram for the OES system
Tabl e 1 Hardware
requirement Requirement Server side Client side Network side
Processor 2.5 GHz 2.5 GHz Cisco catalyst
2950
RAM 256 MB 128 MB 10/100 Mbps
ports
Hard disk 20 GB free
space
10 GB free
space
STP cable
314 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Tabl e 2 Software requirement
Requirement Server side Client side Network side
Operating System .NET Framework,
Windows XP/2000/Vista
or above
.NET Framework,
Windows XP/2000/Vista
or above
The Cisco Network
Assistant Software
Guide Mode
Server IIS 5.0 or above N/A N/A
Browser Internet Explorer 6.0 or
compatible web browser
Internet Explorer 6.0 or
compatible web browser
N/A
Database MYSQL N/A N/A
7 Requirement Specification
Tables 1and 2show the minimum critical requirements for both hardware and
software used in implementing the proposed system.
8 Design and Implementation
After explaining online examination system theory which is presented previously,
the following section describes the various aspects of model design and its tools.
9 Programming Tools
There are many programming languages that can be used to implement an online
testing system. To achieve the design’s effectiveness, we used visual studio 2013 with
(ASP.net and C#), and MySQL as a background integration database. The choice of
these programming languages was based on the language features that make it very
suitable for this work. We have set up a small laboratory with ten computers and
a server to test the system’s scalability. After the design phase, we can reduce the
time required to create the implementation. All test results are very encouraging and
successful.
10 Networking Laboratory Tools
After identifying the system requirements, the network was designed to support
them. The system ran on a server that connected client’s machines over a network. A
connection cable was established between building A (the management department)
and building B (Dijlah college labs department). When a student logs in, the username
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 315
Fig. 3 Networking between client agent and server agent
and password are sent by the client agent to the server agent on a port number, a
separate thread is allocated to each connection. The server authenticates the username
and password then replies with granting access or denying it. In the case of granting
access, the server sends out the test information to the student to prepare for the
duration of the test. Meanwhile, the server prepares the questions that have been
previously assigned for the test, shuffles the questions and their answers randomly
before encapsulating them and sending them out via the dedicated port number. The
client agent collects the students’ answers after they have taken the test, and then
sends them to the server for evaluation. The server receives the answers, grades them
and sends out the final grade. Once the client agent receives the grade, it is displayed
to the student via the GUI. Figure 3illustrates the data transfer between the server
agent and the client agent.
11 Structure Design
This section provides an explanation of the system functionality using a step-by-step
approach to describe the system features.
316 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Fig. 4 Home page
Step 1: Selector Form
It contains a specific identity for the login partition. Users (Manger or Student) get
access to the system using their username and password, if the student does not have
an account, it must be registered by the administrator. Figures 4and 5show the
selection model page.
Step 2: The Registration and Administrator Login Page
The administrator can maintain the system for administrator, students and teachers’
account. They can create and delete the questions in the database according to the
teacher’s instructions. Administrators also can add and delete new teacher and new
students. They control all the information. As shown in Fig. 6.
Step 3: Student Login Form
Figure 7illustrates the login section for students; it is used to authenticate the student
to access the system. The registration is not successful unless the entry details match
the database; otherwise an error message is displayed. The student is required to
provide his or her username and password to use for authentication and to grant
them access to the system.
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 317
Fig. 5 Selector form page
Fig. 6 The registration and admin login page
318 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Fig. 7 Login student page
Step 4: Teacher Log in Form
This page contains the login section for the teacher to provide his or her details which
are used to authenticate the teacher and grant him or her access to the system. This
page is depicted in Fig. 8. Generally, teachers use examination system to check the
status of student’s learning. Faculty members can add and delete questions. When a
student finishes the examination, faculty will automatically get the results.
Step 5: Adding Equations Form
This module is used to provide the questions of the examination to the students.
Figure 9shows faculty interface for adding questions. A teacher can make any
question with or without pictures as shown in Fig. 10 for more description. When
the “insert” button is clicked, the system can automatically save the question into
database.
Step 6: Questions Page Form
Upon loading the questions page, shown in Fig. 11, accesses the database and
randomly fetches questions and displays them to the student. The questions can
be answered by selecting the right choice by checking the radio button which corre-
sponds to it. This page also initiates a count-down timer which is used to manage the
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 319
Fig. 8 Login teacher page
Fig. 9 Add question page
320 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Fig. 10 Add image to the question page
Fig. 11 The question page
Online Examination System (Electronic Learning) 321
Fig. 12 The question retrieval page
duration of the test. The users can retrieve question and cheek their answer again as
shown in Fig. 12.
Step 7: Student Result Page
The test results page is presented in Fig. 13. This module is used to display the result
of the student after the test is concluded. The final grades are computed based on
the number of options the student provided matching the correct option or format
specified by the lecturer. For clarity, all the student information, test details and final
grade are displayed.
12 Conclusions and Future Work
The application presented in this paper was developed for Dijlah University College;
it provided an efficient method to conduct online examination. The application uses
readily available university laboratory equipment which makes applicable by many
universities across the world. The system was tested at the university and it allowed
a number of students to take different multiple-choice styled exams simultaneously.
It was noticed that the application saves time by allowing several test to take place
at the same time, reduces cheating since the questions are randomized and provides
students with instant results improving their overall experience. The system uses
authentication to ensure that students and teachers are given the required privileges
322 S. A. Abdullah et al.
Fig. 13 Student result page
while an administrator manages all the accounts. The system is simple and easy to use;
it was also designed to be flexible and allows for future maintenance and expansion.
For future work, the developers can add extra functionality to the student’s accounts
to track their progress and produce reports that can be used to analyze trends and
evaluate difficulty of each course. Developers can also look into including other
forms of questions instead of only multiple choices, and various techniques can be
used such as biometric authentication for more secure login, like fingerprint or face
recognition via webcam.
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... A test is feasible only if learners have enough confidence in it. As a result, management commits to appropriate policies and plans to ensure that such systems run smoothly and that appropriate hardware, software, network, and internet connectivity are compatible (Ali, Fadil, & Qarabash, 2021). ...
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Intelligent multi-agent online examination system
  • J C Anaekwe
Anaekwe JC (2015) Intelligent multi-agent online examination system. Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus
Web based online examination system
  • S Bobde
  • S Chaudhari
  • J Golguri
  • R Shahane
Bobde S, Chaudhari S, Golguri J, Shahane R (2017) Web based online examination system. Global Res Develop J Eng 2(5):58-61