Digital Examinations Forum

Yesterday I attended the Digital Examinations Forum at the University of Bath which was an extremely useful day.  The event was very well-attended and we had the opportunity to hear from and discuss with colleagues from a range of institutions who are well advanced in the journey of implementing digital examinations.  Mostly for me the day re-emphasised some key points, summarised as follows, with a couple of related photos below:

  1. Have an assessment policy which specifically mentions appropriate use of digital, but emphasise the opportunities digital offers to do assessment differently and better, not just digitising existing practice or restricting yourselves to MCQs.  For example incorporate video into questions, use authentic case studies in digital format,  produce a mini piece of coursework under exam conditions, and there were lots more ideas
  2. Keep developing staff understanding of assessment, ensuring alignment with learning outcomes and activities
  3. Marking online is different to marking on paper. Allow colleagues time, space and support to get used to this.
  4. Standard processes help, but maintain flexibility in the approach – there will be no one tool/approach which meets all requirements
  5. Some things may just not be appropriate to digitise
  6. Educational leadership is needed at all levels to support this change
  7. It costs!  eg building / kitting out space, IT infrastructure (including for BYOD), support eg training for invigilators 

Finally a couple of other items of interest: there was plenty of encouraging feedback about the Inspera platform, and I hadn’t previously come across the work by Martin Bush and Lucia Otoyo from London South Bank on reducing the need for guesswork in multiple choice tests. There are some examples here: https://quizslides.co.uk/home , and a journal article from Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.

Astrid Birgitte Eggen from University of Agder on assessment policy

Anja Sisarica from Inspera on the need for flexibility in marking tools

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