Over the past 5 years, Scandinavia has seen a general transformation from paper based to digital exams across all of Higher Education. The larger, high ranked universities in Norway are now pursuing 100% digitization of all exams before 2020. The digital exams initiative came from various groups. Governments were pushing to boost students’ digital skills, institutions wished to reduce costs on paper handling and administrative work hours, and students were finding pen and paper exams outdated and restrictive.
However, to academic and faculty management digital exams are an opportunity to revisit assessment formats, learning outcomes and teaching activities. For the Faculty of Math and Science at University of Bergen, digital exams made it possible to assess more directly a range of specific competences such as programming, 3D simulation, use of spreadsheet calculations. However, other competences could no longer be assessed without changing assessment formats. With Biggs’ model of constructive alignment and the SOLO taxonomy for evaluations, the faculty began mapping digital tools, functionalities, assessment formats and learning outcomes to a) point to new assessment formats to be approved by the university and b) make guidelines on which tools to introduce in teaching and learning for each subject discipline, and c) to point to new digital tools and functionality necessary to ensure continued and precise assessment of relevant subject specific competences instead of reverting to simple multiple choice to obtain the goal of 100% digitization. This paper presents some of the main findings of the Faculty’s work and points to some overall conclusions drawn from the past 5 years of digital exams in Scandinavia.
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