Setting up practice online exams

If you have exams in your subjects, you will be selecting the technology you will use to deliver the online exams over the next week. Following this, it is important to schedule a practice exam for students using your chosen exam technology.  As an alternative to a practice exam, you could also choose to make use of your chosen exam technology for one of the formative or summative assessments throughout the semester to allow students to become familiar with it.

Why practice exams?

The research regarding online assessment highlights the importance of providing students at least one practice opportunity using the online exams technology that they will use for their end of semester exams. It is important that students get this experience prior to a high-stakes online exam so that they  can approach the online exam with increased confidence, and without the extra cognitive load of having to navigate an unfamiliar technology. Practising with the technology before the exam also helps students plan their time during the exam as they gain experience with the upload process, and how long it takes to upload their exam for the specific technology.

Open book exams

Open-book exams may also be new to students where questions are different from what would be set for a closed-book exam. Students can benefit from practice with open-book exams to become familiar with the type of questions they are likely to be asked. It is important that the practice exam offers similar questions to those that students will face in the online exam.

How to use practice exams in your subject

  • Run a practice exam before Swot-VAC
  • Provide similar questions to those that will appear on the final exam (though lesser in number is fine).
  • Provide questions that require a similar amount of time to those that will appear on the final exam to give students an authentic example of what they will experience in the exam.
  • Ensure the technical setup of your practice exam matches the setup that students will experience in the online exam