The Helinium in Hellevoetsluis is a comprehensive school for pre-university education (vwo), upper general secondary education (havo), lower general secondary education (mavo) and lower secondary professional education (vmbo).
For the Dutch language course at vmbo level, the itslearning learning platform will, among other things, be used to host digital exams. Joop Hop, Dutch teacher and itslearning coordinator at the Helinium, has completely stopped using paper exams for this purpose.
Digital exams mean convenience and time savings
“I have always had an interest in digital exams,” says Joop Hop. “So, when we started using itslearning at the Helinium 5 years ago, I immediately got to work on the Exam Module. At first, it was mainly about trying it out and setting mock exams as homework. But, as I gained more experience, I was able to make the exams more enjoyable and more challenging. You have to have the courage to make mistakes, because, in the end, it leads to more convenience and time savings.”
Questions marked both automatically and manually
“To start with, I have to put a lot of time into creating a digital exam, but I get instant rewards when it comes to marking exams. Particularly when more than one class has to sit the exam. Marking can be done automatically. But, occasionally, I prefer to mark questions manually, for example, multiple choice questions. On itslearning I can easily select the questions that I still have to mark myself, which means I can check and mark them quickly.”
Exams are more enjoyable and more varied
When creating digital exams, Joop Hop uses a lot of variation in question types such as multiple choice, open questions and match questions. “Because there are many possibilities in terms of questions, itslearning is a useful tool for digitising method testing,” adds Joop. “Plus, the differences ensures that the exams are more enjoyable and more varied for students. At the start, students responded a little hesitantly towards digital exams, but now they are enthusiastic. Partly because they can now instantly check their exam results.”
According to Joop Hop, in addition to quick marking, there are even greater benefits that can be achieved with digital testing on itslearning. “Students who are ill may do exams at distance or easily sit them at a later date. The exams are also easy to change. This allows me, for example, to use a larger font for dyslexic students. And this makes deciphering students’ handwriting a thing of the past. And, last but not least, it is also environmentally friendly. Because I no longer have to print anything.”
Making classes engaging
In addition to the exams functionality in itslearning, Joop Hop also uses other itslearning tools in his teaching. He also sets homework via itslearning, uses the study guide to provide structure and the students are able to view digital materials from publishers. “To me, itslearning is a complete educational package,” says Joop. “It is all about how I can make classes more attractive and, on that basis, itslearning gives me support on all levels.”