Testing in the Time of COVID-19: A Sudden Transition to Unproctored Online Exams

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The Bottom Line

With the increased level of online assessments across higher education, it is important to identify what is working and where improvements need to be made.

Research Summary

The transition from paper and pencil exams to online exams, accelerated due to COVID-19, can be challenging. This article details the transition of one academic department at The Ohio State University. In particular, the case study highlights different strategies and outcomes based on their experience trying to balance issues on exam access, exam security, and continuity. The study can help inform other universities in their own transition to online learning and exams.

Key Takeaways

1. Course Design Is Critical

Online assessments need to be considered within the relationships between students, instructor, and course structure.

2. Robust Question Banks Can Reduce Cheating

Developing and utilizing a test bank where questions can be randomized helps improve exam security because it makes it harder for students to cheat.

2. Student Experience and Perspective Is Important

Student concerns and experience with online assessments should be considered. Instructors should help students become familiar with online technology before giving them a high-stakes assessment online.

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