Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Things I've Learned about Giving Online Exams

Today is day 2 of our semester exams, and I've been giving mine on Schoology.
Some things I've learned:

1. I used ExamView to create an exam then imported it. The process was super easy. I found, though, that not all of the correct answers came with the questions. (Thank goodness I discovered that before the actual exam started!)

2. Some kids prefer paper exams; I made them email me to request one so that I didn't make unnecessary copies. They still have to enter their answers online.

3. Even mid-exam I had the opportunity to edit questions/answers. Not that I would ever make a mistake (ha!) but if a kid just happened to not be able to find the correct answer (because maybe it wasn't there) I could change the problem, they refresh, and the day is saved.  We won't mention the problem that I edited a couple of times and still couldn't get right. Ugh.  (Luckily the kids just laughed with (at?) me and weren't too worried about it.)

[Make sure the kid finding all of the mistakes is sitting close to you unless you want to get a good workout.]

4. Make sure the exam is resumable! If it's not the kids can't refresh.

5. Automatic grading is wonderful. But I'm still looking through the fill-in-the-blank problems to make sure that they get credit for entering x = 2 when I put the acceptable answer as 2. Minor details.

6. For scratch paper, I gave the kids a piece of paper that also had a place for them to write their answers. I thought it might be helpful for those kids who want to go back and review their work. Some used it, some didn't.

Is it a perfect system?  No. But a lot of that had to do with teacher error.

Will I use an online exam again? For sure. It's saving me from having to bubble in the scantron form, writing problem changes on the board, trying to beat everyone else to the scantron machine, totaling the scores, and entering them on the computer.  And now that I have these exams done I should be able to tweak for next year.

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