Exams and final assessments can always be a point of stress for students, especially now that many will be completing online alternatives to the usual invigilated exams. As you work away on the design and setup of your online exam alternatives, it's also important to consider how you'll be guiding your students into what will be a very different exam period.
Not only will this help your students feel more comfortable going into their final assessments, but it will also help you feel confident that your assessment will run smoothly.
We've put together a few ways you can ease students' online assessment anxiety, and set them up for success.
When it comes to exam day, students should focus on displaying what they have learnt in the unit — not on using new technology. By providing students with an opportunity to go through the entire assessment process in Cadmus before the final exam, they'll have plenty of time to resolve any access issues or answer any questions they may have.
There are few great ways we've seen teachers put this into practice:
Use Cadmus for an in-semester assessment like an Essay or Mid Semester Test
Ask students to use Cadmus for an online tutorial or workshop activity
Set up the practice questions for the final assessment as a Cadmus Assignment
When students are completing practice tasks, try to encourage them to use the same device they will use for the final assessment, and to follow any time limitations if applicable. And if there are any specific actions they'll need to complete in the final task, like opening a resource or uploading an image, ensure they have a chance to practice this too.
At Cadmus, we're committed to ensuring students have a positive assessment experience, and part of this involves ensuring that help is always available when needed. All you have to do is point students in the right direction — taking the pressure off you to answer any Cadmus questions.
Our Help Docs and Getting Started video series are a great place to start — we've even got a video specifically for Exam Alternatives. Students can access these materials from within the Student Environment while they work, which means that support is always available at their point of need. And in the unlikely case that students have any other issues, they're encouraged to contact our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's a lot of good research to suggest that students are more likely to engage in academic misconduct when they perceive more opportunities to do so (TEQSA, 2019). This means that talking to students about your expectations and the integrity assurances you have put in place for the assessment can be incredibly valuable.
It can be helpful to remind students that although they aren't completing an invigilated exam, they are still expected to complete all their work independently, in Cadmus. Part of this discussion can include informing students that their submissions will be checked through Turnitin, so it's essential they follow correct academic writing practices.
As the end of semester approaches, we encourage you to give your students (and yourself!) plenty of time to get to know Cadmus. And as always, our team is here to support you through this process.
Head of Teacher Education
Main Illustration by Craftwork Design
We're excited to be launching new time limits and extensions functionality in Cadmus — making the online exams experience a whole lot smoother.
Deakin University academic Ross Monaghan shares some advice for fellow teachers considering exam alternatives in light of recent COVID-19 changes to teaching.