ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching: The lived experience of sing Moodle for online exams

Source: ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching: The lived experience of sing Moodle for online exams

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The lived experience of sing Moodle for online exams

At Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (on the South Island of NZ) all of the exams are paper based. In the Bachelor of Nursing (Year 1 course), there are 2 multi choice exams requiring 90% pass rate. They get the questions the week beforehand and work in a study group to debate the responses, and then come in to respond to the same questions.

Printing costs were massive, with exams being 6 or more pages in length, and had to be printed twice. The exams were also all hand graded. So they turned to Moodle.

All of the exam questions were uploaded into a Moodle forum to download or print them off themselves. The students were still able to get into their study groups to debate. In preparation to do the exam on a screen ‘spot tests’ were administered throughout the semester to familiarise students. There was also discussion around etiquette for once the results were released because the feedback was not released until after they had finished.

Some of the benefits were:

  • questions were randomised
  • cheating was minimised by the format of the exam (questions provided in advance, and randomised questions, so there isn’t such an advantage to going through and highlighting the exams)
  • automatic marking
  • results released immediately
  • printing and paper costs reduced
  • it was easy!
There were some challenges including:
  • PC lab room availability
  • increase in number of invigilators
  • iPads were not so user friendly (the Moodle page kept freezing, and wouldn’t change the page and created a lot of anxiety. Students were persistent and carried on, and everyone passed)
  • WiFi connections (60 students were all accessing the same thing at the same time)
In terms of the future, at NMIT there is a focus on moving more exams online, and ideally for all the students to use their own devices and sit the exam in one room.

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