E-Exams – Could We and Should We? Exploring Options and Opinions (2014)

Catherine Duckett and Laura Frost

In recent years there has been expansion in the usage of technology at University level, with the development of computer simulations, video-conferencing and virtual learning environments (McGill and Hobbs, 2007). Therefore, it seems like a logical progression for Universities to introduce online electronic computer based examinations. Studies have shown advantages of electronic examinations to be faster marking times, no more need for double marking, quick analysis of results and more portable tests (Mason, 1995). More recent studies have been concerned with student’s responses to online assessments and performance comparisons. Escudier et al. (2011) compared student performance in a traditional paper exam and an electronic exam, then gathered information on how fair the students perceived the computerised exam to have been. They found very consistent results between the two test types, with only a small minority performing higher in the online exam. 90% of students did not feel that the online exam put them at any disadvantage and over 70% rated it as acceptable.

There is not currently a lot of research in this area, but what there is focuses on the student’s attitudes towards electronic examinations. There is a gap in the research in regards to the teaching staff’s perceptions of computerised exams.

This poster will present results of recent surveys of staff and students at SHU, on their opinions towards electronic examinations. It will briefly highlight the technology platforms available for introducing this initiative, and then instigate debate amongst academics whether SHU should stand still or move forward on this.