Examinations during yellow level

Under current restrictions issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the government, written examinations cannot be conducted on campus at the University of Borås (UB). We need to replace these exams with other forms of examination. Below is a flow chart with suggestions for some alternative ways to measure whether students have achieved the course objectives:

This illustration shows three ways that you can replace an on-campus examination. The top row shows that you can re-formulate the examination tasks and offer either a digital home examination or a digital quiz. The middle row shows that you can keep your examination as it is and offer a Zoom-supervised digital examination. The bottow row displays the choice to postpone your examination to a later date when the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

The picture shows three different alternatives to the written exams on campus. The top row shows that the questions for such written exams can be reformulated and offered as 1. Take-home examination or 2. Test in the learning platform. The middle row shows that the questions can be kept as are and offered as a Zoom-supervised exam. The bottom row shows that the written exams on campus can be held later and offered as a written exam on campus exam after yellow level has been ended at UB.

This page is intended to be a support for those of you who need to rework your exam questions and use other forms of examination than written exams conducted on campus.

In the PING PONG activity Distance Education at UB, there are many good tips for different types of examinations and how you can use the system in the best way to conduct assignments and tests.

The PING PONG activity Distance education at UB (in Swedish only)

(Re)formulating take-home exam questions

Take-home exams are special: the students are responsible not only for showing their knowledge but also for communicating reasonings that show their individual understanding and contextualisation of the knowledge.  This is a big difference from written exams held on campus: students must understand that there is a different type of expectation for them to give individual answers to take-home exams.

Do not see the take-home exam as a form of examination in isolation, but as a tool among many. The strength of the take-home exam is that students can develop a more mature and more reflective answer. The weakness is that we cannot be completely sure who wrote the answer. Therefore, students' insights and ability to reflect also need to be tested in other ways, for example through individual contributions to discussion seminars.

Do not ask for facts; instead, ask students to use facts. Write questions that allow students to demonstrate what we can call (1) interpretation and (2) insight. Interpretation means that the students themselves form coherent knowledge based on the information provided in course literature and lectures. Insight is the ability to use these interpretations.

Set a limit on the number of words; this forces students to write structured answers and it facilitates grading. Avoid very long questions that become a "wall" for students who are less certain: use sub-questions instead. Sub-questions (a, b, c) can build on each other and create a progression within the same question, with a limited number of words for each part. They facilitate structure, limited answers, but also specialisation.

Take-home exams, of course, have limitations if the learning objectives only consist of being able to repeat knowledge learned by heart. There is absolutely such knowledge that is relevant to higher education as well, such as knowing anatomical concepts when studying medicine or caring science. There, a self-correcting test can suitably examine such factual knowledge. See the link to Skapa tester i PING PONG (Create tests in PING PONG) (in Swedish only)

You can also consider whether it is possible to change your on-campus written exam to a take-home without reworking the questions. This of course depends on whether this would work in your particular case. See link to Skapa inlämningsuppgift i PING PONG (Create assignment in PING PONG) (in Swedish only)