Talking Exam Alternatives with Ross Monaghan


Deakin University academic Ross Monaghan shares some advice for fellow teachers considering exam alternatives in light of recent COVID-19 changes to teaching.

March, 2020 in Community
An illustration of a student working on their exam alternative assessment on their laptop.

With COVID-19 forcing universities and educators to rethink how we deliver courses and exams, we caught up with Deakin University Lecturer, Ross Monaghan, to discuss exam alternatives in Cadmus. As part of Deakin's Exam Innovation project, Ross used Cadmus to create an online alternative to an invigilated assessment. He shared his experience and advice for teachers considering using Cadmus for the upcoming exam period.

How was your experience using Cadmus as an alternative to an invigilated assessment?

Ross: I found Cadmus very easy to use — I think it's an ideal platform to assist in this situation. It integrates well with our LMS, so academics could almost "cut and paste" exam material into Cadmus. And the added academic integrity assurances provided by Cadmus are incredibly beneficial to academics.

With all the changes this semester, many academics are experiencing an extreme workload. How do you think Cadmus will impact teachers workloads?

Ross: From my experience, there was minimal impact on workload. Marking is easy via the integration with Turnitin's Feedback Studio, and Cadmus gives you the ability to keep track of multiple markers. And sessional teaching staff would require minimal training, in fact even just a short email. I think it's important to note that students loved the experience as well — it's a clean and easy to use interface.

What sort of exam alternatives do you think Cadmus works well for?

Ross: It'll be a great alternative to exams, particularly for essay questions or long written answers. I think it would work well for short answers or a mix of long and short answer questions. It's not for all assessments though — it probably won't be suitable if you need students to draw diagrams, or if you have multiple-choice questions. 

Lean more about Exam Alternatives here

Keep learning…

Topics for the water cooler. Delivered to your inbox.

An illustration of a person with a large lightbulb for a head. There is a tap connected to the lightbulb, which is dripping water onto a growing plant. It sounds weird, I know.