Institutions may begin their digital assessment journey with many different goals: from streamlining assessment processes to saving resources or reducing their environmental impact. But, for many, one of the most important objectives is to improve student assessment experiences by implementing flexible, user-friendly and contemporary exams at their institutions.
When the University of Bath, Caribbean Examinations Council and the University of Gothenburg started working with Inspera, they all hoped to see a positive impact on their students. As part of our recent Student Satisfaction Campaign, we took a closer look at the impact of digital assessment on test-takers at these institutions.
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University of Bath
About: Founded in 1966, the University of Bath is renowned for its strengths in the fields of engineering, mathematics, and technology management, humanities and architecture. The university is committed to the effective use of educational technology with a dedicated Technology Enhanced Learning team.
Goals: Bath School of Management started a trial with Inspera in December 2017 which was followed by a one-year digital assessment pilot in 2019. The university wanted to investigate whether digital assessments would be successful in aligning exam conditions with those that students face in the classroom (e.g. submitting coursework in the VLE, taking notes) and later in the workplace. They also wanted to investigate improvements in accessibility for students with learning support needs.
Outcomes: During the trial, 70% of students opted to take a digital exam instead of using pen and paper. Donald Lancaster, Director of Studies for the Executive MBA at Bath University’s School of Management, said: “Some students didn’t want to do it online simply because they were nervous. Talking to them afterwards to get informal feedback, all of the students who did it online, reported great satisfaction. All of the students who didn’t do it online, later said they wish they had done it.”
Caribbean Examinations Council
About: The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC®) is an awarding body established in 1972, with responsibility for conducting examinations in 19 different English-speaking geographical territories in the Caribbean Community. CXC awards its own qualifications and covers primary and secondary curricula in a diverse range of subjects, including Mathematics, English and Science.
Goals: CXC has used Inspera Assessment to deliver digital examinations since 2016. As well as improving operational efficiency and results turnaround times, the Caribbean Examinations Council also hoped to use Inspera Assessment to deliver authentic assessments with new media in the testing environment.
Outcomes: In 2018 there were in total 19,902 digital exams successfully delivered through Inspera Assessment at the local test centres. In a feedback survey recently conducted by CXC, 98% of students who participated in the survey said that they prefer digital exams over the pen-and-paper alternative.
University of Gothenburg
About: Established in 1891, The University of Gothenburg provides 1,800 courses and 200 training programmes across the faculties of Medicine, Arts, Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Pedagogics.
Goals: In 2015, the University started a digital exams project, with an aim to digitise more processes within the university. One of the key aims for the project was to improve the student experience during onsite exams by allowing them to take their exams on their own devices. Not only did this allow students to complete assessments on a device that they were familiar with, but also bridged the gap between exams and existing assignments, which were largely digital.
Outcomes: The implementation was fully voluntary, with individual academics deciding whether or not to hold digital exams for their course. It’s a testament to the success of the project that the number of digital exams has been rising exponentially. In 2018, there were 21,717 exam submissions through Inspera Assessment, and in the autumn of 2019 the total number of submissions doubled.
Do you want to learn more? Download the free ebook to find out further details about these institutions’ experiences with digital assessment and student satisfaction, including details of planning, implementation and outcomes.