Eliminate unnecessary paperwork, operations rigidity and extra spenditures! Ten Finnish higher education institutes redefined the exam system of higher education institutes with the support from CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. and Arcusys Ltd. As a result an exam system EXAM was developed in order to generate better user friendliness and cost savings for the users.
The renewal of the exam system started last autumn. The aim was to create a system that would outdo the current one in usability, stability, and flexibility. In addition, the aim was to decrease the work load of teachers and student affairs in the exam processes.
The creation of the new exam system ended up on the To do - list of the project manager Kristiina Uolia after the maintenance responsibility of the Tenttis-system, which was used by several higher education institutes, was transferred to CSC.
"The renewal of the exam system was topical for several higher education institutes. The features that had been proved to work well in Tenttis were taken advantage of in the renewal as well. Other than that, the process began from a scratch", tells Kristiina Uolia from CSC.
The idea was that the EXAM should be a modern and easily expandable solution, which should replace the traditional paper exams and the existing electronic exam room system.
The first version of EXAM is now ready. The new exam system supports individual and flexible studying and reduces the work load as wanted. Furthermore, the new system offers a possibility for utilizing the electronic exam room and in the future potentially also other forms of digital exam taking.
For students the EXAM brings flexible and fast retaking possibilities, decreases study related stress, and increases the possibilities of study planning. Moreover, the exam book queues shorten and universities do not need to get exam books for the whole class.
The electronic exam room also improves the accessibility for those who need a computer or a peaceful environment for taking exams.
Furthermore, after having done the exam questions once, teachers do not need to make new exam questions for each separate exam in the future. The evaluation can be done anywhere anytime without having to physically collect the exam papers. Also, the evaluation process speeds up when the are no handwritten answers to be read.
"It is easy to give feedback for the students, which again increases the interaction in the exam processes. Also, giving grades will be fast and effortless. Even though the work tasks will be shattered more on time wise, the total working time of the process will be reduced", highlights Uolia.
From the student affairs point of view the unnecessary paper work and the logistics related to the paper exams will be eliminated.
The Project Manager Uolia states, that one of the definite corner stones of success is open communications and common understanding of the goals.
"Arcusys possesses a good expertise when it comes to technology related solutions and supporting education", says Uolia and gives creadit to the expertise of Arcusys.
The EXAM consortium of higher education institutes is responsible for the maintenance and development of the exam system. Part of the consortium are in a founder's role Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences, University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta University of Technology, University of Oulu, Svenska handelshögskolan, University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, and University of Turku. From the beginning of the next year also new members will be accepted in the EXAM consortium.