How is it Like Implementing Online Exams at a Business School? Kozminski University’s experience with Inspera Assessment

Since 2014, Kozminski University has been fully dedicated to improve the teaching and learning by using educational technology. In order to achieve this objective, the institution introduced digital examinations with Inspera Assessment in 2017. With the help of Valeriia Gorlushko, Head of Examination Centre at Kozminski, in this post we will discuss the benefits of implementing digital exams at Kozminski, how the implementation process was like and the main outcomes obtained from the project.

Valeriia Gorlushko, Head of Examination Centre at Kozminski University, at a computer lab where the exams are held

About Kozminski University

Kozminski University (KU), founded in 1993, is a private business school based in Warsaw, Poland. The business school has today 8 000 students and 3 faculties: Management, Law, and Finance and Accounting. KU has 60 000 alumni, and a high percentage of international students and staff, from over 75 countries.

Kozminski has excellent results in national and private educational rankings: it is the first-ranked private polish university and the highest ranked business school in Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to the high quality of its programs and services, the institution has obtained both Polish and international accreditations, as the prestigious "Triple Crown" of Accreditations (EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB).

Kozminski University is ranked on the 43rd position on Financial Times 2018 ranking.

Kozminski University Campus in Warsaw

KU’s principal objectives to adopt Inspera Assessment

In 2014, Kozminski University established a dedicated Examination Centre to promote and support the use of technology in the institution. Valeriia Gorlushko, who has been the person in charge of the process of selecting and implementing a platform for digital exams, explains which were the two principal drivers to introduce online assessment at KU: the university sought to reduce the time spent on marking and grading; and, it was looking for improving the readability of exam submissions to open-ended questions.

Kozminski’s principal needs were to reduce the time spent on marking and grading, and to improve the readability of exam submissions.

To that end, Kozminski University first trialled another online assessment tool between 2014 and 2016. Once having tried a digital platform, the faculty members did not want to return to paper and pen examinations. Therefore, the institution started looking for an improved EdTech solution that would best suit the educational programme of the university.

Gorlushko adds that “those improvements the university was looking for focused on administrative benefits of workflow optimisation, and required a provider with scaling capabilities in product and training. After a thorough research of competitors, we realised Inspera Assessment would be a perfect fit, with its features and layout.” Another critical factor that convinced KU to choose Inspera Assessment was the wide range of question types that enabled to digitise subjects such as Finance and Accounting.

Before reaching an agreement of collaboration, our partner company PCG Academia assisted us in adapting the Inspera Assessment product to the Polish market, for example translating the captions inside the platform. In September 2017, Kozminski University and Inspera signed a contract, and started working on the technical integrations oriented towards the optimisation of the administrative workflow.

The benefits of digital assessment at a business school

Business schools often have specific needs that might differ from other types of educational institutions; likewise, the advantages obtained from online examinations can vary. In agreement with Kozminski University, these are the benefits that each key actor at Kozminski aimed to get from our digital platform:

Today students demand a fair and inclusive assessment. Digital exams help us decrease cheating and improve the student learning outcomes through faster marking, grading and feedback processes.

Academic staff also benefit from decreasing the time needed for marking assessment and not having to deal with illegible handwriting. They also find a wide range of questions sets, enabling them to create more diverse types of questions and keep the exams save. Kozminski claims that even the most senior professors want e-exams once the faculties have tried them.

Through Inspera Assessment, administrative staff at Kozminski have access to a scalable product that optimises human resources costs and enables independent e-exam delivery, as well as facilitates the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practice.

After trying digital assessment, staff and students don’t want to return to paper and pen examinations.

Implementing Inspera Assesment

Undoubtedly, introducing online exams required a significant economic investment and management support for Kozminski University. The university successfully faced this challenge due to the commitment and dedication of the team involved with the project. The Examination Team at KU consists of 7 people who are responsible for providing IT support at the exam day, and their dynamic rota calendar.

Kozminski University and Inspera have a close and continuous communication. Representatives from both sides meet regularly to welcome any improvement suggestions and to ensure that we provide an excellent support through Inspera’s Service Desk. We have attended together several conferences to promote digital assessment.

KU has been promoting the use of Inspera Assessment internally through personal training and support for staff, while keeping the participation voluntary. The implementation has been continuously increasing and, as Gorlushko explains, already in the first year, 25% of staff was trained and conducting exams in Inspera Assessment.

Digital exams at Kozminski are carried out as final examinations or during the midterm, and they take place in the university’s computer labs. Even though it is not a common practice yet, there is an increasing number of students using their own technology for examinations. All these devices must have installed Inspera Safe Exam Browser (SEB), our browser that prevents cheating by locking down access to selected resources on the computer and online resources during the exam. Each exam day is supervised by an academic staff and a Exam Team member.

Kozminski conducts digital exams for final and midterm examinations in the university’s computer labs.

KU students taking an exam at a computer lab

A differentiating feature of business schools from other universities is that they frequently have exams that include case method studies. Inspera Assessment offers a variety of question types that meets the needs of this type of examination, such as composite question type, numeric entry and functionality to upload assignment or essay. Inspera Assessment is also integrated with the university’s Student Information Systems (SIS), which enables to share student profiles when configuring an exam. Valeriia recognises that “it is a major step forward to have everything accessible from one place”.

Adoption rates

In the short period of time that Kozminski has been working with Inspera, it has achieved successful outcomes. For instance, in the fall semester 2017-18 the university conducted 458 exams and 10 477 assessments, while one year after, in the fall semester 2018-19 it carried out a total of 1 354 exams and 28 378 assessments.

Lessons learned from this implementation

The main conclusion that Inspera and Kozminski have obtained from this implementation process so far is that we have to be ambitious but at the same time patient with the implementation of the project. Not everyone needs the same amount of time for learning and adapting to digital assessment; therefore, we should estimate an additional 20% of time for training.

However, once familiar with the correct documentation and support, the academic staff and students are able to work independently and eventually contribute valuable insights that can create engaging exams. We should listen to the academic staff, administrative staff and students if we want to continuously improve the examination process and experience.

Learn more?

Do you want to learn more about how our customers are transitioning to online assessment? Read about their unique journeys to inclusive, fair and relevant assessment in our Customer Case Studies.

Topics: e-assessment, digital assessment, online exams, casestudy, Kozminski

Leire Aranbarri

Written by Leire Aranbarri

Customer Success - Inspera Assessment