Online teaching enables a wide variety of examination forms. Working in a structured way to link the learning objectives to the examination from planning to implementation was a pedagogical eye- opener for me. It also made it clear to the students what was expected of them, and for us teachers to refer to.
What constitutes an examination is determined by examiners and current requirements in the syllabi. The choice of examination is thus made by examiners who are appointed by the authority. The examinations shall aim to assess the degree of goal fulfillment in a syllabus and nothing else. The choice of examination form and how it is set up is the responsibility of the university but cannot be made by anyone other than those appointed by the university. The path to legally secure examinations and students’ learning goes through didactically well-founded choices of examinations in a dialogue between course management and the examiner.
Online examinations are perceived as less legally secure, just like oral examinations, despite the fact that there are several aspects of online examinations that have the potential to be legally secure. One reason may be that legal certainty has often only focused on being able to ensure that we examine the right person, and this is only one aspect of legal certainty.
Legal certainty refers to ”predictability”, ie. that the grounds for assessing students’ performance are clear and communicated and that the students thus have insight into the grounds on which they are assessed and graded. It also means that, regardless of grading scale or examination form, no irrelevant factors should be allowed to play a role in the assessment of the student’s performance (equivalent assessment). This also means that not all students need to be treated exactly the same if there is a need for different types of support for the same thing – equality must prevail. Ensuring that the right student is examined can to some extent be guided in the design of the examination by, for example, extending examinations in time, building on them or including oral elements or presentations.
Clear assessment bases or criteria are important criteria that influence legal certainty and independent students (guides the students’ study process) as well as streamlining the teacher’s communication before and after assessment.
In summary, legal certainty in examinations is about taking into account the following:
- that it is the learning objectives that are examined and nothing else (such as course literature, content, reference management or anything else that is not covered by the objectives)
- how the student shows that the objectives have been met – we find our examination forms in the descriptions that become our assessment criteria.
- that this is then carried out legally, ie that there must be transparency in how the assessment took place, on what grounds a grade was set and a guarantee of who has been examined.
An interesting blog post by Ola Leifler (Linköping University), On legal examinion (only in Swedish), raises questions about why we still examine through traditional entrance exams, even though the course is based on collaborative learning and practical exercises in realistic situations. He believes that sometimes there is only a weak connection between the course work itself and the exam.
Written examinations are often over represented in higher education and often occur in certain well-used forms. At the same time, there are other requirements and degree objectives to consider that correspond to degree objectives and regulations, such as generic skills and connection to a professional internship, such as a certain authenticity in examinations. Examinations that capture those types of skills and understanding often fall between individual courses in a program. Skills such as critical thinking and judgment, but also the ability to speak in front of a camera and / or group in combination with being able to extract key content and be able to communicate it with credibility and clarity, make choices, make decisions and act independently, are also aspects of knowledge need to be examined.
With well-grounded decisions about examination forms, the variety and quality of examinations can be improved to reflect students’ preparation for the future labor market.
Written examinations can mean entrance exams, home exams, other written reports (eg essay, pm, laboratory report). The digital exam can be translated into digital home exams in real time, which take place synchronously, but this form presents a number of problems in terms of monitoring requirements, use of unauthorized aids, etc., as many exams are based on fact-checking and short-answer questions.
Examining work that takes place in a group is perceived as difficult despite its similarity with processes in working life. There are many contexts where work and also examinations in groups are justified. To ensure that an individual grading can take place, the examination can be organized so that:
- The examination takes place in several steps with an individual preparation as eligibility for the group work / examination.
- In cases of reports or essays, students can make individual searches and report search strings for a knowledge area, make concept maps or other representations of a starting point. In this way, all students have a contribution with them in the work with the final product as a group examination.
- Another possibility is to make the examination itself oral, but to demand a report as the basis and / or that a group member is then tested in a short hearing on key issues.
- In addition, elements such as concluding individual reflections or individual oppositions or presentations in cross-groups can be used and not to forget the assessment criteria.
In summary, you should think about securing individual assessment in group assignments by:
- using assessment criteria
- having individual parts as preparation or sole opposition
- having a final individual performance (report, oral, opposition protocol etc)
- having individual documentation such as log or self-reflection.
The examination must ensure that the student has shown that he or she has achieved the objectives for the course. Measuring goal fulfillment by constructing grading steps based on percentages in an examination is a very advanced approach. The lowest approved percentage must therefore ensure that the student achieves all objectives for the course, without exception. You can thus not meet an objective to a higher level to compensate for not having fulfilled another objective. Translated to the percentage of the exam, this means that you cannot pass with, for example, 60% correct answers in the exam if you are not completely sure that this means that you fulfill all the learning objectives. You should therefore not be able to read certain sections of the course and skip others and still pass. Here you may need to divide the examination into several parts to ensure that no objective is missed. Other percentages must measure whether the student meets the objectives at a higher level. Here you have to think about all the objectives that can be met at a higher level or if it is only certain objectives that are to be examined on a multi-degree scale. One possible approach is a basic examination where you have very high requirements for passing to ensure that all objectives are achieved (G). The next examination part measures the degree to which several or all objectives are met (multi-degree scale).
In summary, it can be said of percentages as assessment criteria that:
- they are often traditionally motivated, rarely a valid and well-functioning grading criterion when the learning objectives are formulated in qualitative terms
- they require defined grade limits that capture what it is that the student who, say, gets the requested 60% right to an exam actually knows, and what it does not need to be able to.
- there are high demands on the examination (tasks and its organization) in order not to end up in ”do not need to know the definition”
- legal certainty is low as it is difficult to understand what one should know as a student
Examination can benefit from being distributed over the whole course period. This reduces the vulnerability of the course by not saving all assessment of goal fulfillment until the end of the course. It also provides an opportunity to more evenly distribute the teachers’ work effort during the course. The knowledge of the student group to be examined at the end can come as a surprise if you have neither checked the activity nor the level of knowledge of the student group during the course.
An examination containing several partial examinations during the course can be handled in Ladok with the help of result notes. Each component is registered in Ladok as a result note and grades on the examination part are set when all parts have been completed. The advantage is that the number of scores can be varied depending on the conditions in the course (number of participants, teaching teachers, academic year planning, digitization, new research findings in the subject, changed number of laboratory sessions or seminars) that have changed during the course syllabus has been decided. The forms for examination must be stated in the course syllabus, but the number of result entries is only entered in Ladok at the time of the course. The advantage is that the students’ goal fulfillment is measured on several occasions during the course and graded at the end when the learning activities are completed, which gives higher reliability in the assessment and room for formative feedback to the students.
An initial minor examination can be used in order to calibrate expectations for both content, structure and work effort. The students gain self-confidence and are encouraged to continue as they have already passed a part of the course. The examination can also be used to advantage to check activity and deregister inactive students. An early commitment in the course increases the participation rate and throughput in the course. It can be registered as part of a test item through a result note or be a separate result note in Ladok.
An examination at the end of the course leaves room for the learning activities during the course to give the student opportunities to achieve the objectives and also to have time to assimilate formative feedback during the course. The examination may have the purpose of connecting and measuring several objectives included in the course in an overall and summary way.
Higher education institutions themselves decide how an examination is to be designed. Through clear syllabi and grading criteria, higher education institutions can clarify the conditions that apply to the examination.
Detailed arrangements for multi-stage examinations do not need to be described in the syllabus, only the form of the examination (test part). For example, exam with written and oral parts, written individual exams, oral group exams, written assignments, video logs. Think about what might be important for the student to know in writing or orally, individually or in groups.
The design of the examination (which may include qualifying elements) is described instead for the students at the start of the course in the study guide together with orientation assessment criteria. An examination can be in several parts (a blog can in the syllabus be called individual written submission but is carried out as several posts). To document this, you can use result notes in Ladok.
In UKÄ’s Legally Secure Examination, fourth edition, examinations are treated in several stages and continuous examination. “The higher education statutes do not place any obstacles to such arrangements. Nor do the higher education statutes place any obstacles to the use of ”minus points”, ie. that point deductions are given for incorrect answers”. (page 60). The higher education institutions thus have great freedom to design exams and other forms of examinations.
“For ongoing examinations, it is necessary to clarify in the examination rules what it is that is to be assessed by the examiner and in what way the examiner must decide based on the students’ performance. When handled correctly, the measures can promote both the quality of education and the students’ legal security ”.
An example of when this is important is E-portfolios as it must be clear to the students which parts of their work are assessed and on what grounds.
Advantages of these variants are that you do not put all your money on one horse – a form of examination that should capture everything that increases legal uncertainty. One can design for progression in knowledge and ensure that basic knowledge is a prerequisite for the next step, which can either be an in-depth study or application or a random check of basic knowledge where students, e.g. orally, may explain how to make calculations, analyze a topic, summarize and present areas of knowledge, etc. This means that the teacher does not have to spend time assessing incomplete tasks or tasks that will not be approved. The home examination can thus be a preliminary step to an oral exam (use result notes) and information is given in the study guide as to how the examination is structured.
The choice of examination and how it is designed is entirely up to the university as long as legal certainty is taken into account. The higher education institutions decide how the examination is to be designed. Through clear course syllabi and grading criteria, the higher education institutions can clarify the conditions that apply to the examination (from Legal-proof examination, fourth edition). There are more or less common forms of examinations, but how we choose to design the examination is thus part of the teacher’s professionalism where it is also important to communicate the form with the students (in the syllabus according to regulations) and as assessment criteria at course start (Local rules Lnu).
Advice for Choosing Alternative Assessments – a guide from Dublin City University, Ireland.
Technology is very rarely a reason for student drop out. However, you may need to justify and introduce it in a thoughtful way as a practical working method. It can be introduced with the help of group exercises. A sufficiently detailed description for the purpose is presented in writing and orally and may then be discussed, interpreted or tested in student groups. A common summary of various views or results that have emerged provides the conditions for addressing misunderstandings or making minor changes in the approach. A simple poll survey may be sufficient.
Here, Lotta Eek-Karlsson, Department of Didactics and Teacher Practice, reflects on letting students work with major digital assignments and examinations (in Swedish).
Assessment criteria are a very important factor for legal certainty, and this means that students know on what grounds they are assessed and that irrelevant factors in assessment can be avoided. In addition to contributing to legal certainty, assessment criteria create a basis for communication with students who need to know what is to be examined and in the same way form the basis for the justification for receiving their assessment. This helps us develop more independent students who know what is expected of them. Assessment criteria are presented to our students at the start of the course (didactically smart but also requirements in our local rules). Grading criteria, ie what is required of different parts to get a summary grade, however, must be included in the syllabus.
Read more under the theme ”Independent and motivated students”
Examination forms for online teaching
Here is a selection of useful examination forms for online courses (in alphabetical order).
Blog as an examination form is a series of posts (published in course form). In the examination context, publication primarily means publication in a course context for the course coordinator or course team and possibly even for fellow students. This refers to the form and its affordances and not that it should be made public. With a blog, you can capture a process or development as well as basic knowledge in different themes or subject areas (such as separate posts) or focus on in-depth study by raising increasingly complex issues within a subject area. You can think of the blog as a home examination with one question at a time, but where it is easier to distinguish other people’s voices (to prevent cheating).
The advantages of a thread with recurring posts also make it easy to develop a formative assessment process and there can even be several teachers as reviewers who can easily review the process and the type of comments other teachers have given. Everything is gathered in one place, and this leads to increased learning for the student as the process becomes visible. Different competencies can thus be assessed, and it becomes less fragmented than assessing questions divided into a home exam. It can be seen as a window into the student’s learning process.
Although the focus of blog posts is to make a process visible, most active verbs can be examined as a blog. A series of blog posts can be used to represent basic knowledge or to increase complexity by starting with basic levels such as explaining, summarizing, identifying and giving examples and then introducing more levels of knowledge such as assessing relevance in different contexts, e.g. evaluate, rank, reformulate, argue, etc.
In MyMoodle there is the dialogue function where you as the course coordinator can initiate a dialogue in thread form with all students individually or in groups. Several teachers can be given access to the dialogue and make assessments. A major advantage is the overview that the forum provides, including comments the student has received previously, which facilitates both progression and variation in feedback. However, this requires clear headings so that assessing teachers can easily find new posts. A standard forum thread on the learning platform can be used for this type of examination.
A group of students builds a common knowledge base in a specific area in the form of a wiki. All new information is registered and changes to old information can be tracked so that it is possible to distinguish who has done what. Information processing is necessary to produce a useful, informative short text mass including keywords and enables students to independently process a large amount of data. Collaborating allows students to compare their own perception of the material with the perception of others and in this way may interpret the information to be summarized from several points of view. The disadvantages are that you can delete each other’s information and that the final information does not reflect the work done. The task can be supplemented with or evaluated through reflection, time allocation, individual diary or project diary.
Wiki and MyMoodle.
Wikipedia as a teaching method and tool in examination
Combine training and examination of both knowledge goals and skills goals:
- search and read scientific articles, use reference databases and search engines, to make relevant selections based on defined and delimited questions
- structure and make the story available to a wider public
- collaborate in a writing process and interact with a scientifically trained supervisor
- critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyze, assess and handle complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
- write for a wide readership
- the text is reviewed and analysed by many
- quick feedback
Broad but still effective learning with measurable objectives:
- many measurable milestones
- large proportion approved after review process with “minor audit”
The Wikipedia project features in the course Ecology and health, 15 credits. The project is entering its 10th year and during this time our students have produced new articles or improved existing articles on Wikipedia. There are now over 80 articles in the Swedish Wikipedia written by Linnaeus University students. Some have been named the best-written article of the month.
Debate, round-table discussion or other similar activity with an authentic invited audience.
Digital stories as an examination form refers to short multimedia stories that combine voice, images and music. Here, the point is the personal approach to the task, for example to relate one’s own upbringing to theories about children’s upbringing conditions or why not critical situations in the professional practice of several different professions. The ability to combine several different media expressions reinforces the knowledge process (text, image and sound). The form is suitable when the student as a subject or actor needs to emerge and aims to deepen reflection and self-understanding in relation to future professional practice. Digital stories have proven to be a powerful tool for depicting and developing professional meetings where the stories can depict war stories in a business around which cases can be examined and also reused. In the use of digital stories, it is important that both teachers and students have a language for, both in the creation of and the reflection on, visual stories that must also be captured by the assessment criteria for the task.
Here you will find important things to consider about digital storytelling: https://edtechteacher.org/8-steps-to-great-digital-storytelling-from-samantha-on-edudemic/
Voices about digital storytelling
”As our study has demonstrated the potential for DST in terms of academic achievement in English as a foreign language classes, instructors and researchers should take confidence in designing a variety of courses with interesting and challenging digital storytelling strategies. With such effort, development of learning behaviors, including academic performance, higher order thinking, and learning motivation, will develop active learners who will be prepared for the sweeping changes of the future.”
E-portfolio as an examination form is about a collection of a student’s work during the degree program in the form of assignments, films, pictures, projects, sketches, blog posts in many file formats. The e-portfolio is primarily suitable for professional education as well as practical and artistic subjects but can be used in principle by all students and staff. Information in the platform can be downloaded directly from the learning platform, but the student can also upload material from other contexts (external courses, projects, volunteer work, digital certificates, badges, etc.) as proof of competence. Within, for example, art history, a student can show her/his portfolio with sketches, different versions of a work, reflections on the process, films, interviews and finished product for assessment. The student can also gather evidence of soft skills, such as leadership, collaboration, administration, etc.
With e-portfolio, there are many opportunities to capture special knowledge aspects of vocational learning and to link work-based elements of the education with the academic elements. The e-portfolio is developed throughout the program and accompanies the student after completing their studies and can also be shown to prospective employers.
Portfolio as a form of examination raises certain complex issues and UKÄ points out in its supervision that for this type of examination it is necessary to clarify in the assessment criteria which parts are to be assessed by the examiner and in which way the examiner is to assess, based on student performance.
Example of using an e-portfolio
Today, Linnaeus University does not have a platform for e-portfolio, but here are some examples of how it can be used.
- Mahara e-portfolio as practice. Video by Nicola Parkin (Flinders University, Australia). Shows how students, teachers and researchers can create their own collections in Mahara.
- Practical and pedagogical ways to assess your students online. Examples from Irish universities of how eportfolios can be used in assessment and examination. EDEN webinar (4 Nov 2020).
- Eportfolio-based assessment, Dublin City University 2020
Voices on e-portfolio
The new forms of examination with finely divided systems of different tests and assignments can create new problems from a legal security point of view. There are many pedagogical benefits to integrating assessment into teaching, but it can create uncertainty for the student. It is not always obvious to the student when different tasks and interactions with the teacher are included in the examination and when they are not. Documentation can also be a problem. Sometimes a large number of tasks, carried out on different occasions, are documented as a test in the study documentation system. Several programs have introduced a so-called portfolio model, where the student is given the responsibility to collect the information about the various completed steps, in order to be able to ensure the documentation. In a system of this type, the teacher also gets the dual role of teaching and assessing at the same time. (Lund University in Legal Examination, fourth edition).
A first condition for a legally secure procedure is that it is predictable, which can be ensured through clear and distinct rules for the examination and what is included therein.
In an essay text, the student gathers thoughts and knowledge within a subject or based on a particular issue. In the essay, the author can test different thoughts that he/she has on the subject, compare with what others have said, agree or think differently. The essay thus stands on two pillars, the scientific (including references) and the personal reasoning. A good essay conveys not only knowledge and new perspectives to the reader, but also asks new questions.
Multiple choice questions can be difficult to use for in-depth knowledge and thus risk becoming legally uncertain, but used in a well-thought-out way, they work well for diagnostics and mapping or simpler fact-checking. Stress resistance is something we rarely have in our course objectives, so do not fall into the trap of shortening response times. The same applies to tests where you cannot go back in the questions since this can is questionable practice from a knowledge-builing perspective. Multiple choice questions leave no clues as to what students are struggling with or perceive in an alternative way. Feel free to use it as a complement, as a qualification (result note) for a written or oral exam, for a group assignment or as an inventory of misconceptions or knowledge base for a subject area. Quizzes are perceived by students as easy to collaborate / cheat on (see further section on quizzes below). It is an art to construct good multiple-choice questions, so always test the questions on colleagues or students. Here we are easily complacent as so much room for interpretation is left with such stripped-down examination models.
The oral examination has many advantages in terms of legal certainty, time efficiency and clarity. Some misconceptions abound about oral examinations that are often based on a mixture of fair and equivalent examination or that you are not allowed to film or stay alone in rooms with students. The problem of meeting students individually is facilitated by several different aspects when entering Zoom rooms instead of physical rooms. Documentation of calculations, presentations and solutions can, if desired, be used as a basis for the examination.
The oral examination can increase the number of students who pass the examination during the course (fewer re-examinations as clarifications and clarifications can be linked to the examination).
The oral examination can advantageously be linked as a grade-based element to the exam (result notation) where the individual’s contribution can be determined with greater certainty. In studies with oral examinations, time savings can be shown in large student groups. In some cases, it can be fairly quickly established that the student masters the topic and so oral assessment can save time. The assessment can also be handed over to others who can use the recording as a basis for the assessment.
You have the opportunity to create oral examinations both in real time, in Zoom for example and recorded as student presentations, recorded roundtable discussions that the students plan themselves, or video logs.
Different forms of oral examination can be:
- presentations of various kinds
- hearings (of examinations or panel / professional representatives)
- panel discussions and planned seminars
Voices on oral examination
Oral examination is excellent in online education and takes as much time as correcting a written exam. That is the opinion of Göran Manneberg, senior lecturer in physics at KTH in an article in the journal Universitetsläraren (only in Swedish). He has extensive experience of oral examinations. Even with large groups of up to 300 students, the method works as long as one has a large range of questions to choose from for each student.
You cannot test everything through an oral exam, but the method makes it very difficult to cheat. Another advantage is that the students can get feedback immediately afterwards, something that the students also appreciate. He recommends that you start trying the method with smaller student groups to and then develop further.
Roleplay is a very useful examination form. The implementation of a role play will also be an important learning element, which is why the student’s preparation can be regarded as a part of the examination that meets the requirements of working life. The purpose of role-playing is as a student to exchange your own perspective for someone else’s. The role must both influence and be influenced by the subject. In the task, the teacher defines the context and the different roles involved, while the participants decide their character’s different decisions and arguments for this. In order to make well-informed decisions that benefit the characters, students need to prepare through research. Through the combination of scientific research and an imaginary assignment, knowledge of different possible consequences within a subject can be represented by the students. It is important to communicate before the examination which parts of the assignment are assessed and on what grounds.
The possibility of cheating is very limited in roleplay, and you can set up the roleplay in three steps which can include grade-based elements such as some form of individual preparation, participation in the implementation and an individual final reflection that can be included in the test element. Another advantage is the connection to a professional practice that can be made with both the opportunity for different cases and participants from a professional practice.
The student can prepare a written basis for the examination. Submission of the written basis is a prerequisite for participating in the role play (can be solved as result notes). The student is then assigned a role in a group and allowed to argue orally for a given position (based on the topic of the prepared background material). Oral argumentation takes place in both smaller and larger groups. The groups can, for example, within a given time frame agree on a decision where all or more groups need to compromise. After completing the seminar, the student should reflect on the oral presentation based on, for example, the results of the seminar, information gathered in the background material, expectations of the role play, interaction in group situations, meeting techniques, vocational training where it is included or the future professional role.
Support tool (MyMoodle)
- Use the Group function in MyMoodle to give students the opportunity to choose between available opportunities for the roleplay (if given for half class / several groups)
- Submission box in MyMoodle for the written documentation. Make the box accessible and visible to the Selected Group (ie one box per group)
- Zoom meeting with prepared breakout rooms for the role-playing game itself. Name the rooms according to available roles and let the students themselves choose rooms according to the role they have been assigned, or randomly enter the rooms.
- Hand-in box in MyMoodle for Reflection. Make the box accessible and visible to the selected group (ie one box per group)
The exam can be completed in real time with all students simultaneously or for a period. An exam should not be perceived by the student as something that is tricky (like a puzzle or suchlike) or contains misleading information. The overall purpose of an exam is that it should measure knowledge and skills that can be found in the courses’ learning outcomes and syllabus.
To make it more difficult for the student to get help from someone, the nature of the questions plays a role and whether the examination is part of a longer process, as it is both more difficult to consult with others for recurring examinations and deviations from the students’ regular repertoire become easier to see.
Simultaneous examination (hall examination)
Trying to reproduce the traditional hall exam in a home environment is not practical. But there can of course be several reasons why the exam must take place at a certain time and between certain times. It can be tempting to use the usual fact-checked questions in combination with setting tight time frames, etc. in order to minimize the possibility of using unauthorized aids. The effect is then rather that the stress level increases. If you want fact-checking, it is good to instead think about the questions, go from simple memory tasks to forcing the student to use the facts to be able to answer the question. Alternatively use fewer but more complex questions where facts have been discussed before. One variant is to allow the students to access certain literature (see open book exam below).
Home exams are suitable for reflecting on complex issues where the course objectives contain skills such as the ability to analyze, synthesize or assess something and but the form is less applicable to factual questions that can easily be checked online (otherwise applies to most forms of examination if monitoring does not take place and aids are not allowed).
Think about how the students should answer to ensure that they have achieved the goals and how this can be expressed in a question. ie develop criteria for assessment before the questions are constructed (and actually also before the choice of examination form). Based on the question of what does it mean to know X? These assessment criteria must also be communicated to the students at the start of the course and must therefore precede the examination design.
Home exams have probably been tried by many. At a time when we no longer struggle with the difficulty of getting information and the problem is instead to be able to sift through all the information we can access on the Internet, exams where the student has access to literature are very relevant. The questions can then be made more valid and on a higher level of understanding than the classic ones of simply listing, stating and defining. Such knowledge we have access to in our working life. It is rather the retrieval, application and understanding of facts for various issues and problems that the student should be tested on. This can be done in a realistic way if the student is allowed to bring their textbooks to the exam.
Is it probable that when the student, later in working life, is given a task by his boss to present something before the next board meeting, he also receives the order: ”You may not look in any book when you make the compilation?”
Would it not therefore be wise to let parts of the university’s test activities reflect working life’s opportunities to have access to basic facts?
If you use the submission folder in MyMoodle, the content is automatically checked against Urkund to detect cheating and plagiarism.
- Upload folder in MyMoodle
- Ouriginal (Urkund)
Students can create their own quizzes and tests with teachers as facilitators and support. Students need templates and headings to base their tests on as well as assessment criteria, but with training and teacher support, they will be able to both test and provide feedback to each other. The students thus get richer and more varied feedback and the teacher is relieved to some extent.
A course can also be set up completely didactically so that the students will grapple with concepts and understanding that they will work on gradually until forming exam questions.
Guide to student-generated course material by Satish Patel, Umeå University: Student-generated content. Here you will find guides, tools and methods.
A video log involves skills that are sometimes even examined in essay form. A video log requires the ability of the student to assess relevance often in relation to a task or target group and then take the material from both knowledge of the subject and critical thinking and requires structuring and an overview of complex areas of knowledge. Video logs can be used to reflect, process, review, synthesize, argue and review but of course also present. For the presentation, the assessment criteria can clarify the following requirements for dramaturgy: clarity in both structure and verbal presentation, whether one captures the purpose of the presentation / reflection, if the content is well balanced, if the content corresponds to the purpose, there is an audience focus, creativity and originality.
Video logs are also more difficult to plagiarize than simple answers to questions.
Information is not in short supply, neither today nor in the future. The problem instead is to be able to filter, i.e.. to select, assess, evaluate and use all the information we have access to via for example internet. Examinations where the student has access to literature can therefore be very relevant. The questions can then be made more valid and at a higher level of understanding than the classic questions of the type: count…, state…, define… The examination is then similar to how we work with knowledge in our working life.
The difference here from a home exam is that it is simultaneous for all students during a time slot. It is the handling, utilization and understanding of facts for various issues and problems that the student should be tested on. This can be done in a realistic way if the student is allowed to have literature during the examination. Would it not therefore be wise to allow certain examinations in higher education to reflect the how access to information is available in working life?
As we describe under the theme ”Independent and motivated students”, the students’ opportunities to get an overview of the course and the expectations that come with the studies are a decisive factor in how well the students succeed. With that in mind, you can use an examination or a score of results to help students get an overall picture before they start a course in earnest and this makes it easier for them to follow the course and investigate its various parts (see also the chapter ” Learning as acquisition ”in Teaching as a design science (Laurillard 2012) which describes how to set up a lecture). Otherwise, the student’s deeper investigations risk becoming fragmented.
One way to help the student get an overview from the start of the course, and increase the homogeneity of the student group (teachers sometimes experience problems with some students already far behind in knowledge and that this makes teaching difficult) can be to start a course with a longer overview lecture covering the entire subject area. After that, the students get a simplified compilation in some form of the entire course (text, lecture, doctoral interview, etc.). Then an overview exam or quiz is given for the entire course. After that, the teaching begins, which is probably much better understood by the students because different elements in the course then end up in the right place in the student’s imaginary world.
In such a procedure, it is of course highly desirable that all students pass this overview test – otherwise some of the ”point” is lost with the test – but retakes can be arranged relatively immediately or can be done in the form of a shorter seminar that clears up any ambiguities and passes. Later in the course, tests follow in the usual (or different) way. (Inspired by text in Trowald’s Council and ideas for examination at the university in 1997)
Att sätta praxis på pränt – hur och varför skriver vi bedömningskriterier/bedömningsgrunder
Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. New York: Routledge.
Trowald, N (1997). Råd och idéer för examination i högskolan. Högskoleverkets skriftserie 1997:14 R