The End of Paper & Pen Exams

Here’s more evidence, this time from Australia, to indicate that the time is rapidly approaching when we will see paper and pen examinations go the way of the dinosaur, the typewriter and the LP record.

Sydney Morning Herald Article

This short article touches upon many of the benefits. Whilst I like the thought of learner adaptive exams and speedy results and feedback, I would like to see more research around those aspects of learning which might best be done in the more traditional ways.

These days everyone gets very carried away with the desire for ‘objective’ tests and exams and elimination of human subjectivity. However, if the result of this is an ever dwindling number of people who know how to write a substantial piece of written material, university students who can’t write a proper essay etc. then I think it would be negative. The shift to computer based tests and exams carries the risk of increasing the use of multiple choice, gap fill and one-word answer type questions, as opposed to those which offer the student a more open and ambiguous opportunity to interpret, to offer their own perspective on a piece of poetry, an event in history or an aspect of sociology.


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