eExaminations at WCC'10


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Presentation on using student computers for examinations

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  • eExaminations development and acceptance
  • There are lots of ways to capture assessment data digitally Digital Forms of Assessment – digital cameras etc – Paul Newhouse, Edith Cowan University.
  • Logistics are a problem in examinations. 10 hour battery life will be important (mains cables and power filters are tricky).
  • Area of concern Opposing policy stances Reticulation of questions and answer responses Networked Standalone Computer ownership Institutional Personal Computer functionality Kiosk (locked) mode Wide range of software (sometimes using virtualization or a compatibility layer) Candidate communication Function blocking Logging/monitoring Candidate familiarity Common learning environment Test environment requires familiarization/training Licencing costs Commercial Free, open source software
  • In early versions of the system, the assessor was required to choose whether candidates would be able to use, or not use, facilities like the internet, sound, and so on. Over time, his team have eliminated these options, focusing on an environment which is as secure as possible. The assessor just has to place the examination materials (questions, videos and other resources) onto a special partition on the USB drive (see internal arrangements in the figure below).
  • The students were experiencing a halo effect, and were becoming aware that this was a novel practice. This added to their concerns, and forced them to enquire deeply into the new system. Since it had not (to our knowledge) been used before, it was impossible to prove all their concerns would be addressed. Also, what were the metrics for comparison? This tension was expressed in this exchange between an anonymous student and the unit coordinator: The speed question is an interesting one. You can look at it two ways. Firstly, the time required to boot up and get going. This can vary according to how fast your computer is (whether you are using USB or CD for instance), but won’t affect the time you have because no-one will be allowed to start writing until everyone is booted up. The second is the speed you can enter your answers. Most of this is typing, and I doubt ANYONE can type faster than the slowest computer can accept text. So once again, you are on a level playing field.
  • A week after the eExamination had been successfully completed, a national newspaper flew a photographer to Tasmania and a story was printed on page two of the higher education supplement [10]. It described how 124 students on three University of Tasmania campuses took their laptops into their exam rooms to sit what was thought to be the first tertiary eExam in Australia. It not only changed the way we assessed students, but also paves the way for changing what we teach.
  • Teachers Had one incident where a student’s computer locked up and they had to reboot, but document was saved and no other problems ensued. Was a capable student so coped, but a lesser student may have been thrown. Went very smoothly All went very well, easy to use system for this type of exam. I liked the ability to mark work without having to be able to read handwriting. However, eExams are not exploiting the possibilities e.g. videos describing the case study etc. It was good   Students Happy with process No problems at all. It was just like using Microsoft Word. Yes, enjoyed it very much. Power failure could be a potential problem. Scrolling up and down was required. I don’t see there being any advantages to the end-of-year exam being a written exam. I would much rather another computer based exam. No advice needed for the eExam system designer. I believe that the eExam was good. All exams should be done on computers. Students like it - technology was not a handicap - all could type fast. Students weren't fazed. They all refused the choice of doing the exam on paper. Should every student use a computer or should this be a choice of writing tool as is currently the case (some use biros, some use fountain pens, others use pencils etc.)? Does the kind of computer give any specific advantage to candidates? At what point in the innovation process should we move on from replication of pen-on-paper exams to incorporate features only possible in a digital environment such as video-based scenarios, questions requiring complex analysis with software tools (eg calculus and computer algebra systems or spreadsheet-based mathematical models) etc.? How are the pre-tertiary and university sectors linked in respect to this assessment innovation? Will the advent of digitally-based high stakes assessment tools automatically engender the adoption of ICT tools in teaching?
  • eExaminations at WCC'10

    1. 1. eExaminations development and acceptance Andrew E. Fluck University of Tasmania
    2. 4. ePortfolios Blogs Wikis Facebook Digital Forms of Assessment
    3. 6. <ul><li>Reticulation </li></ul><ul><li>Computer ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Computer functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate communication </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Licencing costs </li></ul>Significant Factors
    4. 10. Trials 2007 - Bachelor of Education (ICT unit) – computer labs 2008 - Bachelor of Education (ICT unit) – computer labs 2009 - Bachelor of Education (ICT unit) – student-owned laptops in examination halls 2010 - student-owned laptops in examination halls Bachelor of Education (ICT unit) Bachelor of Law Bachelor of Arts (History) Pre-tertiary mid-year exams for Information Technology & Systems
    5. 11. I am totally for using a laptop for the exam, absolutely. But only if it can be proved that the conditions will be as equitable as those during hand writing exams.
    6. 13. Pre-tertiary trials in Tasmania Fifty-six students in five schools Institutional-owned equipment
    7. 14. Watch the video Complex DNA [95 seconds] and use the enzyme replication simulation software to construct a molecular junction inhibiting the binding process. Submit your enzyme design template together with an explanation of how it will perform the required task. Question 9