Large-Scale (~1400), fully online, BYOD, wireless, LMS high stakes exams: How we do it

Robert Peregoodoff, University of British Columbia

Since 2010, the Sauder School of Business has been conducting fully online assignments, midterm and final exams as large as ~1400 students concurrently. It is important to note that these exams are conducted under normal F2F invigilated conditions (i.e. no remote or distance exams) and that it is the responsibility of the students to provide a suitable device to sit for the exam. All exams are conducted using the University of British Columbia (UBC) Learning Management System (LMS) which is currently Blackboard Learn. From 2010 until 2012 all exams were conducted in Blackboard (WebCT) Vista. Normal duration for the exams are between 90 and 150 minutes.

Sauder has to date had over 21,000 individual student exams, resulting in significant savings to the institution as well as an improved assessment strategy owing to the ability to leverage the online medium. Normal first iterations of exams for new instructors are a straight ‘conversion’ from the existing paper versions, however experience has been by the 2nd or 3rd iteration, faculty are now writing exam questions that would not be possible using paper and pencil.

The presentation and paper will cover the six primary components of the program:

Logistics -> what does it take to reduce technical failure to 0.005%?

  1. Design -> what types of questions can be written for the online medium?
  2. Security and Integrity -> Prevention or detection? Or both?
  3. Data -> through a specific exam, the analytics and data available will be presented
  4. Technical Specifications -> overview of the UBC Wireless network that is the backbone of this program
  5. Culture -> what does it take to bring risk-adverse faculty to this program