Open Book Open Web (OBOW) exams

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digitalLEARNING World Education Award nomination, New Delhi, India, July 2011

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  • http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/question-everything/
  • Open Book Open Web (OBOW) exams

    1. 1. nomination for Higher Education: Best Innovation in Open and Distance Learning Award digitalLEARNING World Education Awards Delhi, India, July 2011
    2. 2. Overview 1. Why OBOW exams? 2. What is an OBOW exam? 3. How to construct an OBOW exam 4. A Sample OBOW exam 5. Summary and conclusions 2
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. Defining characteristic • A commitment to • “... Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and .” Grant Wiggins 4
    5. 5. 5 • multiple-choice tests • fill-in-the-blanks • true-false • matching words • … Students are passive learners  Authentic assessment is not:
    6. 6. "Life is an open book exam." • Learners need to be convinced of the authenticity of the task if they are to fully engage Professor Alan Blinder Princeton University 6
    7. 7. 7
    8. 8. 8 SPOT THE COMPUTER?
    9. 9. Sound familiar? 9
    10. 10. Constructive alignment (Biggs 1999) Is there is between the traditional examination instrument, and term time pedagogy and defined learning outcomes? 10
    11. 11. 11
    12. 12. How often do people solve problems in real life by locking themselves in a room for 3 hours with no books, no web access, not talking to anyone, answering MCQs? 12
    13. 13. 13 Is a closed book, invigilated exam more likely to foster … or cramming/ data dumping?
    14. 14. “Mugging up” is for mugs • Deep learning will occur only when the learner is , , or , incoming stimuli … • Authentic, real-world, workplace-integrated assessment is 14
    15. 15. 15
    16. 16. In brief … • A semi-structured ‘mini-case (or ‘caselette’) • Harnesses the power of ICTs to emphasise currency and real world authenticity • A summative assessment item … … invites the student to draw on all that they have learnt (determining what is relevant). 16
    17. 17. Dull? Boring? Something to fear? • Final assessment  • Boredom and stress not conducive to deep learning • Important to catch the imagination and appeal to the creativity of the learner • Multimedia enhancements increase student satisfaction and learning (O'Brien and Seawell 2004; Vaughan 2001) 17
    18. 18. Key features • Students play the role of decision-maker, auditor, consultant or advisor • They are presented with a unstructured (open-ended) problem that requires resolution (usually in the form of a set of recommendations) • No pre-exam night 'cramming' 18
    19. 19. The template the setting in which the problem/situation is identified and framed the project and issues to resolve the setting of parameters and suggestions about methods/concepts/models/tools to employ. 19
    20. 20. The ground rules • To minimise the scope for unethical behaviour … 1) Time period for the exam must be sufficiently tight 1) Make clear (as a stated objective of the subject) that is the key to success 1) 'Text-book' impersonal responses will not attract high grades. 20
    21. 21. 21
    22. 22. An MBA module offered by a KU college … • The programme is offered online 22
    23. 23. 23 Links to background on company
    24. 24. 24 Images and multimedia help to contextualise problem
    25. 25. 25 Excerpts from third party accounts provide perspective
    26. 26. 26 Links to short articles on the story
    27. 27. 27 Links to real people
    28. 28. Students have 24 hours to submit … 28 Remains authentic throughout
    29. 29. You have to have invigilated exams or students will cheat 29
    30. 30. 1) Students cheat during invigilated exams 1) In the adult learner context, only a small percentage will attempt to cheat 2) These people will cheat whatever the exam instrument Seldom observed points 30
    31. 31. 31
    32. 32. Getting started • Keep a look out for material all the time (not exam time!) • e.g. Local newspaper, periodical websites, magazines, television news or current affairs programmes 32
    33. 33. What to look for • A that learners can easily relate to in lay terms • Objective: to get them to about an issue • Student to act as ‘expert witness’ – an effective mechanism for the validation of their learning in their own minds 33
    34. 34. Creating a scenario • Having settled on a theme, gather together various media that can bring the case to life • The inclusion of hyperlinks, photographs and/or streaming media adds a human dimension  34
    35. 35. Lead characters • No story is complete without lead characters • Using people with names, and pictures and voices acts as a catalyst to student engagement • Fictional characters must give the appearance of being real! 35
    36. 36. Setting • Role play  the bridge between a learner's education and their professional practice • Placing the learner in the role of the key decision maker, the expert advisor, or the auditor • Revisit the stated learning outcomes 36
    37. 37. Defining the parameters • The definition of the assessment task might amount to no more than a paragraph • Ideally it should invite a wide of variety of 37
    38. 38. Striking a balance • Avoid 'spoon-feeding' but … • … not so unstructured a student is either struck by 'writers block' or goes off in the wrong direction. 38
    39. 39. Expectations • Before writing , it is helpful to develop an outline of the kind of response one expects from the learner and, importantly, … • This process may also lead to being refined 39
    40. 40. 40
    41. 41. OBOW exams … • A form of assessment that fosters as opposed to a display of inert knowledge • Test problem-solving skills not memory • Equips learners with 21st Century skills 41
    42. 42. What OBOW exams deliver… • An assessment instrument that is more relevant to goals of the curriculum, greater authenticity, where real-world problems take centre-stage • Allow ICTs to be harnessed to encourage interaction • Student engagement with the assessment task  induces • Low cost solution for exam delivery in open and distance learning 42
    43. 43. • Studies show stimulation with audio will increase retention rate by 20%. If stimulated with audiovisual, memory retention climbs to 30%. If presented with interactive multimedia involvement, the retention rate can be as high as 60%. 43
    44. 44. References • Williams, Jeremy B. (2009)The efficacy of the final examination: a comparative study of closed-book, invigilated exams and open-book, open-web exams (with Amy Wong), British Journal of Educational Technology, 40 (2), 227-236). • Williams, Jeremy B. (2007) E-xams: harnessing the power of ICTs to enhance authenticity, (with Wing Lam and Alton Chua), Educational Technology and Society, 10 (3), 209-221. • Williams, Jeremy B. (2007) Using digital storytelling as an assessment instrument: Preliminary findings at an online university, (with Kanishka Bedi), Proceedings of the 11th CAA Conference, pp.433-447, Loughborough, England, 10-11 July. • Williams, Jeremy B. (2006) The place of the closed book, invigilated final examination in a knowledge economy, Educational Media International, 43(2), 107-119. 44

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