Conducting Examinations On-line

Davis, HC, Carr, LA and White, SA (2004) Conducting Examinations On-line At The 11th International Conference ALT-C.


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Examinations are often criticised because they do not provide an authentic test of a student’s ability. Examinations are also criticised by lecturers who resent the time spent wading through vast amounts of rushed handwritten scrawl only to be confronted with the evidence that students don’t seem able to evidence under exam conditions that which we were convinced they had previously learned. However, examinations continue to exist because they provide external stakeholders with evidence of what a student can achieve, unaided by others. The authors teach courses in Computer Science. A first year course in programming was previously conventionally examined by questions on programming and theory. A final year course on Web Technology also examined programming and in addition examined skills in analysis and synthesis by essay questions. Following reasonable feedback from students that examining introductory programming on paper was not authentic, we introduced a practical programming-task examination, conducted at computers, supported by multiple choice and short answer questions for the theory. Encouraged by the results we extended our experiment to our final year course, and students sat web programming and essay question examinations at a computer. Our presentation will enumerate and analyse the decisions we made, the pros and cons of this approach and the lessons we have learned over two years of examining this way. In particular we chose to leave the computers connected to the network so that students had full access to the facilities they would normally have when working. Students were banned from using communication software and shared folders, and the only realistic way of ensuring this was careful supervision. The students were generally happier with the experiences, even though we badly over estimated work they could do in the time. The staff were happier as their marking time was much reduced, and they felt the examinations were fairer.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: Event Dates: Sept 2004
Venue - Dates: The 11th International Conference ALT-C, 2004-09-01
Organisations: Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 259678
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 22:24
Further Information:Google Scholar

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