This may be an opportune time to explore essay exams (or projects) that don’t require proctoring. These would be open-book and open web, and time limits could be imposed by controlling start and end times. Since online provides flexibility, students could be allowed to submit their exams within a 24-hour period. This would be a test of mastery rather than speed of recall.Shimabukuro, J. (2020). Essays or Projects Instead of Proctored Exams: A COVID-19 Response. Educational Technology and Change.
We’re going to need to change our thinking around how we assess our students’ understanding – assuming that this situation continues for a lot longer than is currently anticipated. We can’t set up proctored exams (when students complete the assessment on a locked down computer) so we need to create assessments where there are no solutions that can be found with a Google search.
This post on using essays or project-based assessments instead of proctored exams gives a useful list of the kinds of questions we might consider for upcoming tests. Here are some of the examples provided:
- Applying a process to an unfamiliar case or problem.
- Comparing or contrasting two or more theories or writers.
- Explaining a concept with an illustration or example from personal experience or observation.
- Critiquing a theory via different logical methods.
- Defending or attacking a popular or unpopular opinion, theory, or advocate.
- Analyzing the critical factors of an unfamiliar case or problem.
- Analyzing the short or long-term implications of a specific process or course of action.
- Testing transfer of knowledge from a known to an unknown situation or case.
- Imagining new, different, or controversial applications for a process or theory.
- Examining underlying issues in a given controversy or debate.
- Weighing different solutions for a problem selected by the student.
- Conducting a small-scale survey on a controversial topic and discussing the results.