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eExams: Strength in Diversity

Abstract : This study examined the growing number of emerging eExam systems that allow students to demonstrate academic achievement using computers in schools and universities. Using a mixed-methods case study approach, the research gathered data from a desk audit, followed by field observations and interviews in selected countries. Thematic investigation of the data revealed commonalities and differences in the eExam systems. The findings show the main systems under development are divided into two groups. The first are alternative booting systems that make an entire, identical operating system and application suite available to each candidate. The second comprises a variety of secure web-browser solutions. Both approaches permit the use of software applications, but it is not yet clear whether this affordance can transform curricula. It is clear there is tension between administrative convenience that saves staff time, and the transformational potential of computers in education that would alter what students learn as well as how they learn. This tension is epitomised by the different proportions of undergraduate examinations conducted using computers, ranging from 1% to 40% in some institutions. What was also clear from the data were the intentions of some countries and institutions to raise this to 100% in a five year span.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 2:42:52 PM
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Andrew Fluck, Mathew Hillier. eExams: Strength in Diversity. 11th IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE), Jul 2017, Dublin, Ireland. pp.409-417, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-74310-3_42⟩. ⟨hal-01762843⟩

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