Semi-plenaries I (1 x 60 minutes)

Thursday, February 9, 2017, 16h30 - 17h30, Red Building, Università della Svizzera italiana


Room A11:

Legal framework for e-assessments – why security issues, personal data protection and copyrights matter

Jacqueline Gasser-Beck, UNISG

Keywords: e-assessment security, student data protection, intellectual property rights and copyrights, students with disabilities

Although blended learning has become a standard teaching method in higher education, institutions and professors alike fall back to asynchronous paper based tests when it comes to assessing their students. While flexibility and co-creation are very much appreciated in modern learning scenarios, rigour, security and compliance dominate exam procedures. To avoid reputational damage institutions do not want to take any additional risks that come along with online identification, bring your own device (BYOD) policies or hacking threats and rather stick to what is considered safe but "old school".

If you decide to take e-learning to the next level this presentation will enable you to safely design and implement e-assessments in your institution. You will understand the importance of organisational structures policies, procedures and compliance enforcement to ensure safety, confidentiality and integrity within your quality assurance guidelines but also – and not less important – within the guideline of the Swiss Federal Act of Data Protection.


Room A21:

Lessons from nine years online examination practice at ETH Zurich

Tobias Halbherr, ETHZ

In 2007 ETH Zurich conducted its first online examination as part of a project to establish computer-based examinations in ETH teaching practice. Today ETH Zurich operates an institution-wide mid-scale online examinations service with a total of over 100 examinations and roughly 10’000 candidates annually. Current capacities are at a cap and projects are underway to further scale the service in order to meet increasing demand. In this semi-plenary session we will explore lessons learned from these past nine years and discuss how these have shaped present (online) examination practice at ETH Zurich and how they have informed current projects to further improve and scale the service. We will share our experiences relating to a diverse selection of topics such as examination didactics, technological implementation, service operation, or student acceptance – without any claim to completeness.


Room A31:

E-assessment on competencies in professional face-to-face communication, conversation and counseling – a paradox?

Wolfgang Widulle, FHNW; Marc Weinhardt, EH Darmstadt

It seems to be intuitive and obvious, that in the field of professional (face-to-face-)communication, conversation and counseling (CCC) in social work, education and psychology e-assessment is barely suitable.

As competencies are quite more than skills, namely a complex of knowledge and skills, but also readiness, attitudes, motivation and strategies, digital tools don’t seem to fit to the complex demands, communicative competencies make to students and examiners.

Anyway, exams in this field of professional action offer plenty of challenges as

  • ecological validity of the exam setting,
  • "verifiable" criteria merely on behavior either thought on attitudes or readiness and
  • reliability within big groups of examinees and examiners.

So these assessments should be face-to-face-exams – like role play with simulation clients (actors instructed as clients or patients) and following oral exams or at least video presentations of professional action with subsequent colloquia.

But does assessment of personal communication (in the professional field of action) really require personal communication (in exams), i.e. a so called "educational double decker"? What about new possibilities of e-assessment? SWITCHtube offers huge capacities of video upload and customised access to and view of individual exam videos. SWITCHcast offers possibilities to annotate videos and the integration in online interaction-tools on e-learning platforms like ILIAS, Moodle or OLAT should guarantee possibilities of personal feedback and appraisal by examiners. Further on video recordings of assessments could offer a great possibility of comparison of achievements and levels. And finally assessment videos could be used as educational material in further classes.

The workshop opens questions on e-assessment of CCC-skills and competencies, proposes some (unrealised) ideas on e-assessment in this field and discusses demands, risks and chances in this challenging format of e-assessment.


Room A12:

E-assessment between "mastering the masses" and "enabling variety"

Ursula Schwander, UNIBAS

In 2015 the University of Basel decided to develop and implement an e-assessment environment in order to improve quality assurance, increase efficiency and expand didactic possibilities for examinations in a digital age. This decision was preceded by a broad pilot phase during which different options had been tested and evaluated.

In this session we give an overview of these scenarios, summarise the evaluation results, present our approach to establishing e-assessments at the University of Basel and finally report on the current situation.

Subsequently, we would like to open a space for discussions. We look forward to exchange views and experiences with the participants and reflect both on opportunities of technology-enhanced examinations and key barriers which will have to be overcome if e-assessment is to be effectively incorporated into teaching practice.