P436: eExams: Secure electronic testing for general and organic chemistry courses

Author: Christopher G. McDaniel, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Co-Author: Beatrice Botch, Lara Al-Hariri, Hans Mentzen II, Thomas Whelan and David Hart, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: ASH 2302

Related Symposium: S23

Over the past 10 years, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has seen a dramatic increase in overall enrollment. When coupled with our service courses and decreasing support for teaching assistants, our students suffer with extremely stressful exam conditions. Class sizes typically exceed 280, so instructors resort to multiple-choice exams with little to no partial credit. In fall 2012 we piloted an electronic testing model in which our general chemistry laboratories are used to serve as a secure testing facility. This past fall, we successfully administered over 1,500 electronic exams. The “eExam” is delivered using the Online Web-based Learning (OWL) system, which has an extraordinary range of question capabilities. OWL is FERPA-compliant and has easily enabled security features that can restrict (as well as extend) exam time and IP addresses and provides excellent feedback. The eExam allows students with disabilities to take the exam with the instructor and not at a remote proctoring center and provides the student with a comfortable and relaxed environment. Results of the use of electronic testing in general and organic chemistry will be discussed.