Towards Digitalisation in Examination and Grading: Best Practice and Challenges

Tim Metzler and Deebul Nair

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Although digital technologies are widely-used in teaching and learning, to the best of our knowledge besides multiple choice there are no well established solutions for electronic exams and/or grading assistance. In this paper we summarize our experiences which we gathered during several semesters of conducting electronic exams in combination to electronically assisted grading and our research to further automate this process.

Since 2012 in the department of computer science in Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg electronic exams using various digital format were carried out. In 2018, the first grading-assisted digital exam for the bachelor course ”Grundlagen der Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie und Statistik” (WuS) with 120 students was conducted. Based on the literature study and practical experiences, we identify requirements for conducting an electronic exam and how we selected the respective implementation of a suitable format, for which we used Jupyter notebook 2 . We introduce its advantages and limitations as well as discuss the types of assignments which can be utilized in Jupyter notebooks. Despite multiple benefits from the plain use of a digital format in examinations, the major reduction of the teacher’s workload is reached by using grading assistance. We have studied various auto grading techniques which assist an examiner during the grading process, applied some of them for WuS assignments and show the significant time reduction achieved for grading students’ exam using only partial auto grading.