University Of Tasmania

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An international review of eExam technologies and impact

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:37 authored by Fluck, AE
This study looks at the growth of eExams in five countries. An eExam is defined as ‘a timed, supervised, summative assessment conducted using each candidate's own computer running a standardised operating system’ (eExam, 2017), but local interpretations varied significantly. The literature revealed five main areas for the study: the scale of eExam adoption; assessment integrity (student cheating/security/reliability); eExam accessibility for students with disabilities; eExam architecture and affordances for assessing higher order thinking; and inter-sectoral relationships between universities and schools concerning eExam assessment environments. The methodology was qualitative and interpretist, using the constant comparison method from grounded theory for analysis (Corbin & Strauss, 1990, p. 9). Data were collected through interviews with 17 key individuals and from observations at sites which were purposively identified from the literature as diverse in eExam experience. The results provided a thick and robust description of practical eExam implementation. Adoption scales varied from less than 1% to 40% of examinations. Assessment integrity shared common concerns with pen-on-paper exams, and had some additional features, but were overall no more or less secure. eExams offered access to students with disabilities. The relationship between eExam architectures, affordances and assessment of higher order thinking was complex and contested, closely linked with perceived barriers and enablers. The quality of inter-sectoral relationships with respect to eExams was found to be generally poor. Academic workload reduction was a major enabler of eExams, and the policy drivers for curriculum transformation through improved affordances poorly articulated. Hurdles included lack of prior student experience of eExams. A clear enabler was the national adoption of a pathway to replacing pen-on-paper exams with eExams.


Publication title

Computers and Education








Faculty of Education


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

© 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teaching and instruction technologies