Swansea University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Page: 5682 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1338
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ways in which universities assessed their students broadened to include more online approaches. Emerging from the pandemic many academic staff would like to retain the online assessment practices they have developed for a multitude of reasons. Online exams and open book assessments provide additional opportunities for innovative assessment. For example, the ability to be able to use other applications or online resources during the exam can test a student’s ability to apply subject-specific knowledge in an authentic manner more reflective of professional practice. Other benefits include maximising the modern learning management systems functionality where quiz engines enable the application of different types of questions, some of which can be automatically marked to help academics cope with large cohorts. Of course, the most obvious benefits of online exams relate to the removal of the need for the exam hall and in-person invigilation such that exams can be administered without geographical limits enabling flexibility and virtual mobility.

One of the biggest drawbacks to online assessment is the concern about academic integrity and the opportunities for often unwanted student collaboration through back-channels or the use of commissioning websites or contract cheating. Many academics have encountered the difficult experience of exam papers appearing on such websites after online exam papers are released. There are well-known solutions to improve the robustness of online exams that have been employed to good effect to reduce the opportunities for academic misconduct.

In this work, we focus on one of the more substantiated approaches to avoid the opportunity for academic misconduct. The design of questions that test higher-order thinking and therefore mastery of a subject in combination with time-limited exams. We give practical examples from engineering and sport and exercise sciences disciplines where exam questions have been adapted to directly use or require the use of higher-order actions verbs described in Bloom’s taxonomy resulting in improved student learning and positive feedback. We conclude by reflecting on how changing the nature of exam questions also drives the pedagogic approach to teaching and drives more active and reflective teaching practices.
Online exams, higher-order, assessment, exams, action verbs.