The current course exam questions, and the format of the exam, are made with a pen-and-paper assessment in mind. While some things that work well on paper, such as sketching and writing formulas, are not yet possible in the testing software, online assessment tools offer many new options that you can use creatively.
You should keep in mind that a take home exam is essentially an open-book assessment, so the first option would be to use an open format for your exam. There are a few simple guidelines that you can use to transfer your questions to an open online format. If an open format is not possible for your exam you need to think carefully about its design. Also see the FAQ on cheating for tips on how to prevent fraud.
Assignments, papers and essays are an obvious choice for online assessment. Students are given a number of days to complete their assignment, which could be an essay or creating a video. You can use the assignments in Blackboard to have the students hand in their work via SafeAssign to check for authenticity. Additionally, you can have students include a declaration of originality that states that this is their original work.
Make sure expectations and grading criteria are available for your students on EleUM. For individual supervision, you can communicate with your students via mail. For more tips and tricks, see Take Home Exams Hints and Tips.
Online written exam, using closed and/or open-ended questions
In Blackboard you can organise the exam by yourself. However, for summative assessment TestVision is the preferred digital exam tool. TestVision complies with the highest security standards, but you need support from your Exams Coordinator to plan the exam session.
Both are cloud-based applications that students can log on to from home, and they offer a variety of question types and support the use of media and links. If you want to create a real online assessment, you can use multimedia and other online resources. Have your students research the internet for the answer or have them watch a video, then answer questions about its content.
If an open-book format is not possible for your exam, both offer options to deter students from using unwanted resources: use randomisation of your questions and answer options, use time constraints to limit the test duration to the minimum amount necessary, use the show only once option (with caution!). See also Tips and Tricks for online exams in TestVision.
Presentations by individual students or small groups of students can be shared via Blackboard Collaborate (download the manual), LifeSize Cloud (download the manual) en MyMediaSite.
Be cautious and transparent when it comes to recording such sessions; UM guidelines for recording are being developed.
Online meetings in small groups are easy to organize, so oral examination may also be an option, particularly in smaller courses and other educational modules. For suggestions and sample guidelines, see the protocol for oral examination developed by SBE; note however that recording sessions like these is a delicate subject matter. UM guidelines for recording online sessions are currently being developed.
Summative assessment types are tests and assignments that determine whether the student passes or fails a course. They are therefore often called ‘high-stakes tests’, especially when a high percentage counts towards the final grade. There is a variety of formats that you can use as a summative assessment, such as multiple-choice tests, quizzes, essays, assignments, and/or oral exams.
A summative assessment may require proof of identification and security measures to prevent fraud in order to be a valid assessment. This depends on the format and the goal (nature) of the exam itself. An important shortcoming of online assessment is the lack of invigilation to check for identification and fraud. Therefore it is best to assume that all online assessments are like an open book take-home exam or (group) essays, where it is unclear who did what, so always choose a format that is the least susceptible to fraud.
There are many ways to do summative assessment and UM offers a number of tools that you can use. Of course, Blackboard offers the possibilities to provide students with graded assignments, like essays, discussion boards, and quizzes. Next to that, Maastricht University has TestVision as its preferred digital exam tool.
TestVision supports closed questions and open ended questions, but also more unusual types such as the hot match question and the point on image question. You choose which question types to use and it is easy to switch between question types while developing the test. The open-ended questions include the option to have the students upload a document. There is no plagiarism check in TestVision.
The exams can be set to any duration, from a few hours to weeks or unlimited time.
Note: It is recommended to have your students take a practice exam to get them acquainted with the software.
A summative assessment may require proof of identification and security measures to prevent fraud in order to be a valid assessment. This depends on the format and the goal (nature) of the exam itself. An important shortcoming of online assessment is the lack of invigilation to check for identification and fraud. Therefore, it is best to assume that all online assessments are like an open book take-home exam or (group) essay, so always choose a format that is the least susceptible to fraud.
Prevent cheating on exams, quizzes, tests:
You can use either TestVision or Blackboard for online exams and quizzes.
Wherever possible, try to change the exam format to a take home exam that allows the use of resources, or even encourages this;
Apply time constraints to discourage communication among students. Provide sufficient time to take the exam, but no extra time that could be used to communicate the correct answers;
Avoid the use of multiple choice questions, these answers are easy to communicate amongst students.
Add a small text that the students see at the start of the assessment where the students are made aware of what is considered fraud or what behaviour is or is not allowed (e.g. this assessment should be made individually, only your notes are allowed, communication with peers is forbidden, when you submit your work you declare that is is your own, etc.).
Talk to your students about this issue in class and have a discussion on scientific integrity. Discuss the importance of this in their study and later work in the context of the UM codes of conduct.
For papers and essays, have students use the Assignment function in Blackboard so their work is scanned by SafeAssign.
Have students submit a declaration of originality with their work.
Note: At this time, the University does NOT offer tools to secure off-site exams such as proctoring.
Formative assessment refers to a wide variety of methods that teachers use to conduct in-process evaluations of student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during a lesson, unit, or course.
Formative assessments help teachers identify concepts that students are struggling to understand, skills they are having difficulty acquiring, or learning standards they have not yet achieved so that adjustments can be made to lessons, instructional techniques, and academic support. This type of assessment therefore provides important information on the development of a student.
Here are a few types of formative assessment strategies:
Summaries and Reflections: Students stop and reflect, make sense of what they have heard or read, derive personal meaning from their learning experiences, and/or increase their metacognitive skills. These require that students use content-specific language. These assignments can be done during online meetings, but can also be provided as asynchronous assignments in Blackboard.
Lists, Charts, and Graphic Organizers: Students will organize information, make connections, and note relationships through the use of various graphic organizers. See the Tool Wheel for these Mind- and Concept-mapping tools.
Visual Representations of Information: Students will use both words and pictures to make connections and increase memory, facilitating retrieval of information later on. Wooclap’s wordcloud is suited perfectly for this, but also Padlet can help.
Formative quizzes: Students do short quizzes that provide automated feedback.