The Exams Become Digital and Move Online
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The Exams Become Digital and Move Online

HELD IN A UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM, BUT WITH STUDENTS BRINGING THEIR OWN COMPUTER INSTEAD OF PAPER AND PEN, IN A SECURE WAY. WITH THE EXPERIMENTAL PHASE FINISHED, THE INNOVATION INTRODUCED BY THE BUILT CENTRE NOW EXTENDS TO THE WHOLE BOCCONI, WITH GREAT ADVANTAGES FOR STUDENTS AND PROFESSORS

In the last exam session, in an experimentation involving three courses, 653 Bocconi students took a written exam online.
 
In such an exam students take an online exam in a University's classroom, using their own laptop computer. “These are traditional written exams, which can include both open-answer and multiple choice questions, with the only difference that they are distributed electronically", explains Luca Bordogna, who managed the project for the Bocconi University Innovations in Learning and Teaching (BUILT) Center.
 
The advantages of the online mode over traditional pen and paper are many. In the case of open-answer tests, those who correct the exam overcome the problem of interpreting the handwriting, while the multiple choice tests can be corrected and evaluated immediately. The feedback we received from students also highlights the relief of not having to prepare a rough and a final version, with the problems of time and the anxieties that the process entails", says Bordogna.
 
“I'm delighted with the online exam", says Marco Ventoruzzo, who holds the International comparative business law course, one of those interested in the experimentation. “The advantage during the correction phase is considerable, the process is absolutely secure, eliminating also the delicate phase of photocopying the exam texts, and the experimentation went smoothly".
 
Markus Venzin used the online exam in the "pass or fail" formula to assign two credits with a multiple choice test. “I needed an agile examination to assign a couple of credits and the system worked very well", says the professor of Strategic Management.
 
The system, integrated in BBoard, Bocconi's e-learning platform, is web-based and therefore does not discriminate between computers with different performances, while security is guaranteed by a browser lockdown (a plug-in that prevents the computer from carrying out other activities for the duration of the exam), and by an anti-plagiarism software that allows correctors to identify suspicious answers.
 
Approximately 1% of students suffered from computer compatibility problems during the experimental phase. “In these cases, a University technician intervenes. If the problem can be solved in one minute, the student's computer is used, otherwise we have some already configurated spare computers in the classroom and the exam is completed using them", explains Bordogna.
 
From the next exam session, the online mode will be extended to 5-10 courses, and it is supposed to further grow in the following months.
 
“The initiative is part of BUILT’s re-IMAGINE e-learning project”, says BUILT’s Director, Leonardo Caporarello. “The project started in January with the launch of the BBoard platform and is destined to develop with the launch of other initiatives”.

by Fabio Todesco

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