Techbits – January 2016

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January 2016

For decades University students have taken their exams on paper and now that has changed. By taking an exam on a computer, new data driven tools better equip students and instructors on performance outcomes and test taking strategies. Early interventions revealed by data can now set students up for long term success as they journey towards graduation.

The Department of Nursing is using a product called ExamSoft, an online platform to administer assessments. The system allows a student to track their growth in key areas over the span of their academic career. Instructors create libraries of question banks to pull into an exam, each tagged with a category related to student learning outcomes. Students take exams on their own laptops in proctored classrooms using ExamSoft’s security driven software.  Internet connections are blocked and the desktop is on lockdown. Questions and responses are randomized on an exam greatly reducing the temptation of wondering eyes! At then end of an exam, students have the possibility of immediately seeing their score as well as rationale for questions they answered incorrectly.

Data driven test taking has been keeping faculty in the department working hard to create challenging exams that more accurately measure student performance.  New tools mean new ways of tackling age old problems that ultimately lead to improved learning outcomes for students.

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