Assessments (Exams)

Assessment is one of the ways we have to make students’ learning visible. Therefore, assessment should always be linked to a specific learning outcome (or outcomes) as articulated in the study guide. The use of different assessment approaches and strategies to assess the various learning outcomes during a particular course of study is always important – not only during challenging times or pending emergencies. A balance of formative and summative assessments over time, collected from multiple sources, provides a more authentic, reliable and valid picture of the student’s learning. Download the following document for more information: Alternative and Online Assessment The UP Way 2021. Please also see:

Online assessment tools available in clickUP

Various tools and approaches can be used for assessment. Technology-enhanced and/or online assessment is but ONE of the many possibilities. Table 1 provides a summary of some of the online assessment strategies currently employed by the University of Pretoria as an alternative to the in-person (on-campus) traditional written tests, written examinations, CBT tests in IT Laboratories, and practical examinations. All clickUP and Turnitin examinations, tests and assignments are marked online, and their marks are automatically directed to the grade centre. If any of these tools are used for summative assessment (examination) purposes, it is advisable to hide the grade centre column from the students’ view. 

Existing UP off-campus assessment options:

clickUP tool

Description

Help files

clickUP tests

Create tests consisting of objective and/or essay questions. Objective questions are automatically graded to test students’ knowledge. Feedback can be added to each objective assessment question for formative assessment. Pay careful attention to objective assessment principles when setting questions.

UP & Blackboard help on testsRespondus helpSpecific settings to mitigate risks with clickUP tests

clickUP assignments

Use this type of assignment if you do NOT have to check for originality. The tool allows online submission of individual or group assignments. Lecturers manage the grades and feedback for each student/group from the grade centre. Announcements, calendar administration and monitoring of students are integrated with the assignment tool.

UP & Blackboard help on assignments

Turnitin assignments

Use Turnitin assignment to check for originality in submissions. High similarity in reports does not automatically indicate plagiarism. It is essential that the correct settings are used for the type of assignment given to students. Using Turnitin correctly protects the academic integrity of the University.

UP & Turnitin help

Gradescope

Gradescope helps lecturers to administer and use AI to grade all assessments, whether online or in class. Gradescope’s AI-assisted grading allows instructors to automatically group similar answers and grade all the answers in each group at once. 

Gradescope supports Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, and Economy.

https://www.gradescope.com/
Proctorio (pending iGaPP permission)

Proctorio integrates with clickUP tests and uses advanced machine learning and facial detection technology to deliver accurate, reliable exam proctoring. 

 
In-video assessment H5P is the software you can use to add interactive elements (including questions) to an existing video. The interface is accessible through clickUP. When you add quizzes to videos, the attempts will be recorded in the grade centre. In-video assessment help

Graded blogs

A blog is a personal online journal that is intended to be shared with others. Blogs also have a commenting feature so that people can respond to one another’s thoughts. This can be set up for the whole class or groups of students.

Blackboard help on grading blogs

Graded discussions

Asynchronous discussions occur over a period of time. This can be set up for the whole class or groups of students.

Blackboard help on grading discussions

Graded journals

This is a private reflection tool between the individual student/group and lecturer.

Blackboard help on grading journals

Graded wiki

Course/group members collaboratively create and edit pages at different times and from separate locations. Changes and their authors are tracked and visible to the assessor.

Blackboard help on grading wikis

Blackboard Collaborate

This webinar-like tool allows synchronous communication, which means that everyone who wants to participate must be in the same online space at the same time. This tool can be deployed for the whole class or for a specific group. You can use voice, video and text-in-a-chat function, as well as share a whiteboard, files or applications. The sessions can also be recorded and the link made available to students in the clickUP module after the session.

UP & Blackboard Collaborate help

Blackboard App

Students who have access to an Internet connection can easily do the following on the Blackboard app, using any device (for any other clickUP assessments, students must use a computer/laptop): 

  1. Participate in Blackboard Collaborate sessions (viewing, chatting, speaking, sharing video if allowed by lecturers)
  2. Participate in discussions
  3. Type assignments in Google Docs and upload to either clickUP assignments on Turnitin from their Google Drive.
  4. Do tests, if they know how to use the browsers on their phones. This is not recommended as the chances are good that they might click the wrong button on their phones because of the small screen size.

Due to the small screens, they may experience difficulty in completing the assessments mentioned above. It is therefore recommended that they instead complete these on a computer/laptop.

Technical support documentation

Assignments
clickUP Tests
Grade Centre

Online Examination perusals

Download the following guidelines: Online examination perusals guidelines

Measures to enhance the integrity of assessments

There are many ways of enhancing the integrity of the assessments but some medium-term and long-term measures require the rethinking of assessment, and some technological solutions need funding. A balance of formative and summative assessments over time, collected from multiple sources, provides a more authentic, reliable and valid picture of the student’s learning. Various tools and approaches can be used for assessment. Technology-enhanced and/or online assessment is but ONE of the many possibilities to address academic integrity issues. Lecturers are rather encouraged to create assignments that make cheating harder using more authentic assessments and application questions which make it more difficult for students to find answers on the internet. 

General measures to enhance the integrity of the assessment include:

  • On-campus examinations.
  • Create several versions of an examination and link it to randomly distributed groups of students.
  • Divide a long paper into separate parts of no longer than 45 minutes if at all possible. 
  • Set higher cognitive level questions that do not rely on recall (not Google search questions) but still align with your outcomes.
  • Consider presenting students with a case study to apply the theories learned.
  • Students could be asked to describe their process followed to answer a question so that one can establish that the student was responsible for answering the questions.
  • Ask students to sign a code of honour to be morally responsible and accountable and to undertake not to cheat or collaborate with other students. 
  • Ensure that students cannot open assessment before signing the integrity statement in the affirmative. (Use a test in which you add the integrity statement, with an Accept and a Do not Accept option. Set a mark to the Accept answer. Use the mark for this test to adaptively release the exam papers to the students)
  • Use the same examination, but merely change the names of companies and individuals (or other variables) in the paper to create uncertainty among the students as to whether they have the same papers. If time constraints are in force, this limits dishonesty. Distribute the different papers randomly to student groups.
  • Provide the UP fraud contact details in the instructions to each examination to allow students who are aware of collusion the opportunity to report it.
  • Put a watermark on your question paper that indicates it is copyrighted to UP.
  • "Google" your questions to see what comes up. Adjust the question if Google provides an answer that would not require the student to show insight to formulate an answer. Also check what is available on Google for students to help them in tests, e.g. Wolfram mathematics that can solve maths that you might ask students to solve in a question paper.

Measures to enhance the integrity of clickUP tests include:

  • Use a large question pool, and randomise the questions and/or answer options.
  • Display the questions "One at a time" to make it difficult to copy questions.
  • Depending on the content of the examination, select "Prohibit Backtracking", to prevent students from viewing previous questions and change their answers.
  • Use random blocks or question sets to randomise specific groups of questions.
  • The Multiple Response Question (MRQ) type must be set to have negative marking, to deter students from clicking all options to get a full score. Set the minimum score to 0, so that “negative marking” applies only within the question, and not for the examination as a whole. Students should be made aware of negative marking and the number of correct choices should be included in the wording of an MRQ.
  • Put a password on the test 30 minutes after the examination started. If a student loses connection, they have to email you to request the password to continue. Change the password again after the student accessed the test again. If students share the password, you can easily determine who shared and who logged in late.
  • Another solution to late starters: Download the column with the test after 30 minutes to keep a record of those who were already busy with the examination. 

Measures to enhance the integrity of clickUP assignments include:

  • Require students to submit their work if multi-step problem solving is required.
  • Students should take a photo of their student card on top of this work.

Alternative measures to enhance the integrity of assessments:

  • Use Bb Collaborate for oral examinations for individuals or small groups
  • Use Turnitin assignment to check for originality in submissions.
  • Use a system where students write their exams after receiving a PDF password-protected paper and after answering the assessment by hand, upload their scanned and PDF-ed answer scripts to a clickUP assignment for marking online.
  • Students must not only solve problems but explain their thinking.

 

- Author Gerrit Stols
Published by Gerrit Stols

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