Utilizing Online Exams: A Case Study

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Stacy M.P. Schmidt
David L. Ralph
Bruce Buskirk


exams, online, internet, professor, portals


Technology has opened a wide range of possibilities for the college classroom.  Thus, the classroom has changed in a variety of ways.  Some courses have been converted to fully online courses.  Students and instructors do not have any face-to-face contact in these courses.  Other courses have converted a portion of their courses to online.  These classes are generally referred to as Hybrid classes.  Students and instructors meet face-to-face for a portion of the course and complete online assignments for the remainder of the course.  Some other courses have maintained their face-to-face course but have integrated technology into those courses. 


Instructors have utilized a variety of technologies that include but are not limited to:  Live Chats, Threaded Discussions – Forums, Powerpoint Presentations, Email, Videos, Software, Spreadsheets, Word Processors, Online Portals, Electronic Portfolios/Projects, Online Exams.


This is a case study of the implementation of online exams in a traditional classroom.  Students are given a paper and pencil exam that has been utilized previously in other courses as the midterm.  Then an online exam was utilized in the courses.  The case study looks at the success of the exam from the point of view of the students and instructors.  Students overwhelmingly indicated that the online exam was superior to the paper exam. Students indicated that the online exams provided an opportunity for students to complete the exam at a time that was best for them.  They were able to pick a time that reduced anxiety.  The online exam also provided immediate feedback on how they did.  Faculty indicated that although the online exam does have a few glitches and there are concerns about cheating, it was effective and proved useful.  Further studies need to be done regarding the online exam to assure that it is an accurate evaluation of student learning.


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