Administrator, Juridicum, Faculty of Law Lund University
I am part of the central service organ for students and teachers here at Juridicum and have been working here for the past six years. I come from a background that spans from human rights studies to working with technical support. What I like about being here is that no day is like another – every day offer something new that I hadn’t anticipated, and there’s also freedom to try things and experiment to find new ways of doing things. It’s a very stimulating environment to be in.
Here at Juridicum I’m the person responsible for the administrative tasks in DigiExam – I create accounts, and before the high-stake exams periods I create the exams for our teachers. I’m also the person responsible for distributing, sorting and printing the exams after hand-in. I handle the whole process from beginning to end, in order to make the experience run smoothly for both students, taking the exam, and teachers doing marking. Our teachers still like to do the marking with pen, on paper, so we use the printing functionality in DigiExam a lot – however, a number of teachers have now started to mark the exams digitally within the platform.
We’ve been using DigiExam for five years, and it’s almost difficult to remember what the process looked like before that – but it was the traditional pen and paper.
One thing that has improved dramatically with DigiExam is the quality of student answers – the answers are more developed, hold a better structure and there are fewer questions that are left un-answered. Hand written answers are not at the same level at all – the main advantage with DigiExam is that the students can edit their texts – move, add, strike out and re-write to improve their texts, without having to rewrite the whole answer, cross out and draw arrows for the teachers to try to understand when marking.
Many of our exams consist of only four questions and the students sit for six hours – so the answers are very text-heavy. The teachers doing the marking no longer have to spend time on trying to decipher handwriting and understand comments added in the margin, text that has been crossed out, erased and rewritten. “The security level is very high – during all these years not one single exam out of the 15577 that has been executed, has gone missing.”
My advice to other universities/faculties/departments who want to start giving digital exams – start off in a small scale, preferably by introducing administrators and when they are comfortable with DigiExam introduce more members of staff. Getting started is not complicated – one walkthrough with one of the DigiExam instructors and then you’re good to go, and if questions arise the DigiExam support is easy to reach and you’ll get a quick response.
At University of Lund we follow the development atour fellow universities in Sweden and other schools with keen interest.
“Something that Therese points out is that several people underestimate the importance of offline support – a situation where the exam cannot be started, carried out, finished or where information is lost should never ever have to occur”.
The awareness of how a failing network connection, or a crashing computer can affect a whole exam and how important it is to be able to start, execute and hand in exams despite failing technology is missing among many schools and universities.
When we first started using DigiExam the wi-fi network at Juridicum wasn’t fully developed yet and suddenly we were in a situation where 140 students were supposed to start an exam and the network was down. However, with the offline support in DigiExam it took us no more than seven minutes to start all 140 students’ exams with the help of USB-sticks and everything ran smoothly. “Technical errors must never interrupt an exam, and here was proof that this is a solution that really works.”