Task design

It is a huge difference in how examination assignments can be designed dependning of whether it is about examining fact knowledge, application of well-defined methods, or independent, open problem solving. And you often cannot use the same assignment tasks or questions in take-home exams as in campus exams.

You can divide what is to be tested into three rough groups:

  • Fact knowledge. E. g. basic terminology and simple formulas.
  • Application of well-defined methods. E. g. mathematical calculation techniques, formulas, etc. with algorithmic solutions (i. e. unambiguously right or wrong).
  • Independent problem solving. E. g. to apply theory and models to open problems.

The types of knowledge or skills that an examination must test are defined by the syllabus through the active verbs used in the course objectives.

Story: Convert hall exams to online with Quiz

With the Canvas Quiz-function, the previous hall exam form has been replaced by multiple-choice and essay questions. It is about examination in large student groups. Experiences, challenges and lessons learned from a project in the subject Business Administration. (Video, 26 min., only in Swedish)

Story: Planned on-campus courses off-campus

The story of challenges and solutions during an urgent reorganization of an on-campus course in Informatics to off-campus during the pandemic in the spring of 2020. (Video, 28 mins., Swedish language.)

Tips: Exam questions based on short case descriptions

The goal here is to influence study strategies to involve more in-depth learning by use of short case descriptions. As a beneficial side-effect, systematically constructed case descriptions can be used to function as the basis for a large and useful material of examination questions.

Tips: Length of the text in the take-home exam

The assessment of whether a student has reached the examination requirements in an exam of the essay type normally refers to the qualitative value of the solution, not the quantity. For reasons of assessment, we still often set an upper limit (and sometimes a lower limit) in the number of words/number of pages for the […]

Tips: Oral exams online

Overview of advantages and disadvantages of oral exams online. And some strategies for good questions.

Tips: Varied questions by random values

KTH’s unit for educational support describes an examination plan regarding numeracy. It is based on systematic random variations of the calculation data, where several parameters were changed in parallel.

Writing functional multiple choise questions

If you use multiple-choice questions in the examination, the trick is to construct unambiguous questions and unambiguous answers. The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University has a small, practical and concise manual on how to do this.