Bringing Online Examinations to ITDI’s ATCs
IATA's Authorized Training Centers
Our Distance Learning Team continues to roll out online examinations across the world. Several Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) have expressed interest in bringing online examinations to their locations as well. We have made steady progress on this project by successfully piloting online exams in several locations. Already, exam sessions have been successfully held in the Americas, in Miami and Montreal, and in the Middle East. In the second week of June, additional sessions were held in cities across India, the UAE and various European countries.
Some students and their instructors have initially expressed skepticism about the adaptation of the new technology, with questions about connectivity, potential disruptions, etc. We welcome all queries as they help us to improve the exam experience. So far, all feedback from the conducted examination sessions has been positive.
All current students, regardless of having chosen a paper-based or online exam, have access to a tutorial demonstrating the online examination process and the capabilities of the technology. Students can replicate the real-life examination experience and be comfortable when they eventually sit for an online exam.
Benefits of Online Examinations
One of the biggest benefits of online exams is the ability to provide immediate results. This alleviates the stress an examinee may go through waiting for the results, not to mention shaving a full six weeks from the current enrollment, study, exam, results and certificate issuance cycle.
Distance learning courses, being vocational in nature, prepare participants for a career in their chosen fields. In fact, students who have jobs lined up after their exams will be able to start their careers that much sooner, thus realizing a faster return on their investment. Those who are already employed will be able to apply their skills immediately, and perhaps benefit from a pay upgrade.
Extending online examinations to ATCs is a huge undertaking, considering the number of students who enroll in our courses. One of the biggest challenges is the availability of locations where there are sufficient infrastructure, robust systems and resources available to conduct the exams. Also, cultural differences may limit early adoption of this new technology. While we know that our students are tech savvy and use smartphones or similar devices in their private lives, some of them become cautious when approaching an exam. Once this natural fear is dissipated, they usually come out with flying colors!
Overall, the prospect of delivering online examinations at ATCs is very positive. We are able to not only deliver to our clients in a more timely and cost-efficient manner, but we can also expand our global reach to those who cannot be physically present at a regional exam center. We recognize the cultural differences within our network and we rely on the feedback from ATCs to communicate more effectively with students. We encourage ATCs to partner with us in this global initiative.