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An international review of eExam technologies and impact

Fluck, AE ORCID: 0000-0003-1301-4615 2019 , 'An international review of eExam technologies and impact' , Computers and Education, vol. 132 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2018.12.008.

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Abstract

This study looks at the growth of eExams in five countries. An eExam is defined as ‘a timed,supervised, summative assessment conducted using each candidate's own computer running astandardised operating system’ (eExam, 2017), but local interpretations varied significantly. Theliterature revealed five main areas for the study: the scale of eExam adoption; assessment integrity (student cheating/security/reliability); eExam accessibility for students with disabilities;eExam architecture and affordances for assessing higher order thinking; and inter-sectoral relationships between universities and schools concerning eExam assessment environments. Themethodology was qualitative and interpretist, using the constant comparison method fromgrounded theory for analysis (Corbin & Strauss, 1990, p. 9). Data were collected through interviews with 17 key individuals and from observations at sites which were purposively identifiedfrom the literature as diverse in eExam experience. The results provided a thick and robust description of practical eExam implementation. Adoption scales varied from less than 1% to 40% ofexaminations. Assessment integrity shared common concerns with pen-on-paper exams, and hadsome additional features, but were overall no more or less secure. eExams offered access tostudents with disabilities. The relationship between eExam architectures, affordances and assessment of higher order thinking was complex and contested, closely linked with perceivedbarriers and enablers. The quality of inter-sectoral relationships with respect to eExams wasfound to be generally poor. Academic workload reduction was a major enabler of eExams, andthe policy drivers for curriculum transformation through improved affordances poorly articulated. Hurdles included lack of prior student experience of eExams. A clear enabler was thenational adoption of a pathway to replacing pen-on-paper exams with eExams.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Fluck, AE
Keywords: eExam. Architectures for educational technology system. Pedagogical issues, Postsecondary education, Secondary education
Journal or Publication Title: Computers and Education
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0360-1315
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.compedu.2018.12.008
Copyright Information:

© 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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