The traditional three-hour college exam may soon become a thing of the past, as leading British institutions have switched to online and more “realistic” assessment formats after the pandemic.
The University of Cambridge stated that in the next academic year, it will “learn the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic” and “respond to the desire of many departments to move away from the traditional three-hour written test” as the main evaluation method for such programs. “
The University of Warwick stated that online assessment will continue to be its main mode of judging student performance, especially because getting rid of supervised written exams “seems to bring real benefits to a range of student groups. It even seems to help narrow certain areas in certain areas. The performance gap of the student body,” a spokesperson said.
The University of St. Andrews stated that the exam will remain online from 2021-22 and will use this year as an opportunity to measure the success of digital assessments in different disciplines.
Colm Harmon, the vice-chancellor (student) of the University of Edinburgh, said that although the current environment is not the time to make long-term decisions, “it feels that change is coming.
“Students have responded positively to the use of digital platforms for exams. We are improving the use of this technology to see where improvements can be made,” he said.
Almost all agencies contacted Times Higher Education Said that although they will not prohibit face-to-face assessments, their use will be greatly reduced, and they will be significantly away from memory-based tests. The shift in online assessment has been accompanied by wider adoption of open-ended tasks spanning days and wider acceptance of formative rather than summative assessments.
The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London stated that it will “retain most of the content of the online assessment” but will continue to conduct some face-to-face tests. The University of Oxford stated that it has “adopted a form of remote assessment” and “is developing plans to build on this experience in the next academic year.” Middlesex University stated that it is planning “a major project to review assessment methods” , Tools and methods, and learn from pandemic experience.”
Coventry University Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Andrew Turner (Andrew Turner) stated that his institution has already begun to move away from sit-in exams by 2020, but the pandemic has “accelerated this process”.
He said: “Some scholars remain silent, but this pandemic has undoubtedly made people understand what the exam is for.”
When considering different forms of assessment, Turner emphasized the need to pay attention to the risks of academic misconduct and the impact on student workload. For example, an at-home exam that lasts one to three days may put additional stress on students who previously needed to complete the assessment within three hours.
Jon Scott, former vice president (student experience) of the University of Leicester and current higher education consultant, said that this shift should be welcomed.
“I have been pushing for improved evaluation for some time… The problem is that it requires upfront investment, so people just go back to the default options,” he said.
“[The forced switch online] There is a glimmer of hope, because universities have already reflected on how they conduct assessments… In the three-hour exam, they got rid of the standard type of three essays, and hope to move to a more realistic assessment, which is more related to the way students work. Related to the future,” he said.
“This is a real opportunity to advance things that benefit academic projects and students.”