Digital Assessment

Integrating digital assessments is one of many ways in which you can boost the quality of your teaching practice. Digital assessments allow you to improve the quality of your tests and to work more efficiently and effectively.

Various types of software are available for online assessments. The test applications TestVision Online, SOWISO and Maple TA are centrally offered and managed at the AUAS.

Digital tests benefit both students and lecturers. Digital tests resonate and connect more with students: evaluations show that they would rather type than write and that they appreciate variety in the types of question asked. In addition, a literature study (in dutch) shows that when used correctly, digital tests have a positive effect on test quality. Both summative and formative tests can be administered online. The assessment tool TestVision gives AUAS lecturers insight into test questions and previously conducted tests, enabling systematic improvement of test quality.

Advantages

  • Gain access to your test questions and test results anywhere and any time.
  • Automatic marking/scoring of closed questions.
  • Online marking of open questions and sufficiently legible written answers.
  • Make the tests more applicable to the real world by adding audio and visual material.
  • Automatic creation of tests based on a database.
  • Extensive analysis functionality at both the test level and the question level.
  • Provide immediate feedback to students about results.

Exam rooms

AUAS uses digital exam rooms with a total capacity of 880 people. These digital exam rooms are used by AUAS, UvA and AMC, and they can also be used for written exams.

  • The IWO Red and IWO Blue rooms have a capacity of 300 people each.
  • Room REC M3.01 on the Roeterseiland Campus (UvA) can be used for AUAS tests (capacity: 150).
  • Four small digital exam rooms are available in the Fraijlemaborg building, providing total capacity of 130. The room numbers and capacities are as follows: FMB.016 (31 people), FMB.026 (33 people), FMB.034 (33 people) and FMB.040 (33 people).

Equipment

The computers have been specially designed for digital tests and are equipped with a mouse and keyboard. All of the computers are situated on separate tables and the screens are fitted with privacy protectors to prevent copying. In addition to the standard programs that a regular workstation would have, the exam computers also have special programs that can be used for digital testing.

All of the computers are connected to a secure wired network: no Wi-Fi is available in the IWO rooms. The exam computers can be centrally controlled by an administrator’s computer, e.g. to enable tests to be centrally activated/deactivated.

The exam rooms are not identical: for information regarding the differences, contact the Online Testing contact.

Test applications are used to develop, administer, check, analyse and manage/archive formative and summative tests. Tests are administered within a secure environment. Test statistics that can be retrieved in a test application are used as input for determining test question quality and cut-off scores.

A range of test applications can be used for the purposes of summative and formative tests. For more information on this matter, consult our tool guide.

Would you like more information about the best type of assessment method for your programme or how to design, construct, administer, mark and analyse tests effectively? If so, feel free to contact us via edulab.fbe@hva.nl.

Developing online tests

Administering online tests

Online testing

There are several steps you must follow before administering an online test.

On this page:

Consult the online testing contact

If you are a lecturer and are considering administering an online test in one of the large classrooms, the Online Testing contact is your first point of contact. Together with the AUAS online testing expert, the Online Testing contact maps out your requirements, whether the test can indeed be administered online and which application is the most suitable.

As soon as the Online Testing contact indicates that the test can be administered online, you can contact the faculty scheduler to schedule the online test. You can submit this request yourself or via the scheduling contact person.

Please note: check with the Online Testing contact well in advance of submitting a request to the scheduling officer.

Your Online Testing contact will help you develop your test and enter it into the appropriate test application.

A manual has been prepared for teaching staff, describing the entire process from test development to test administration. This manual can be obtained from the contact person. Always ask for the latest version, because a lot is still under active development.

There are guidelines in place to handle online test scheduling requests, which address matters such as more time to prepare in the classroom before the online test begins. Ask your scheduling officer about these guidelines. The guidelines are still under development, so always ask for the latest version. As with written examinations, invigilators must be present during online tests.

Examination invigilators

Online Testing contacts by faculty

Requesting support from ICT services

ICT Services (ICTS) must always be involved in online testing. After scheduling your online test, you can request this mandatory ICTS support via the ‘Request ICTS online testing support’ form. The Online Testing contact has this form and will fill it in together with you.

  • This form must be submitted at least eight weeks before the test date.
  • If you have special requests relating to your online test, such as the installation of specific non-standard software, the form must be submitted at least 12 weeks in advance.

ICTS notes which applications are needed and decides which software must still be installed (if possible). A trial run is conducted in a test environment before the actual test is administered.

ICTS is also provides on-site support before and during the test.

Administering the test

Lecturers and invigilators are allowed into the room an hour in advance to make the necessary preparations. They may, for instance, check if the computers are in good working order and the monitors are properly adjusted. ICTS staff will set up the online test. Students are not allowed into the room until shortly before the test and must leave their jackets and bags in the designated lockers.

When the standard time is up, students suffering from an impairment (e.g. dyslexia) can continue to work for a limited amount of time. Please ask the degree programme about the rules that apply in this case. An hour later at most, the computers must be shut down and everyone must leave the room.

Online testing

When developing an online test, the following points are important:

It takes a lot of time

Online testing design can be time-consuming during the development phase. Especially if the examiners want to use different types of questions, multimedia or digital feedback, this will require more time to develop. Time can be saved by collaborating with other institutions.

A clear knowledge structure is needed

Setting up a high-quality digital item bank or feedback system requires a clear knowledge structure that can be used for several years. Careful consideration must be given beforehand to the structure and level classification of the knowledge. This requires unambiguous metadata and selection codes for the items/feedback. Even after the item bank has been developed, maintaining and updating the item bank or digital feedback requires the necessary attention.

Carefully consider automatic feedback

If automatic feedback is given, the nature and content of the feedback should be thoroughly considered. This will rely on the didactic expertise of examiners, allowing them to identify and give feedback on students’ different types of faulty reasoning, in order to help students avoid them in the future.

Requires skill

Online test design requires lecturers to be proficient in dealing with the chosen test application and have knowledge of test item development.

Determining cut-off scores

Cut-off scores must be determined in advance and are more difficult to adjust afterwards than in written examinations.

Adjustment and practice are necessary

A certain amount of adjustment and practice is required of students before they can take an online exam. They should have sufficient IT knowledge and skills, and the online testing should be regularly 'practised'. For tests that assess students’ proficiency in professional applications, this preparation has taken place in tutorials or practical training sessions. We recommend letting students get used to a particular test application by means of formative assessments.

For more information about the online testing cycle, go to the Score website