An OWU Information Services Success Story

Faculty Say Technology Provides More Authentic Assessment

Professor of History, Dr. Michael Flamm
Professor of History, Dr. Michael Flamm.

 Students today have been brought up on keyboarding, which, to some degree, has resulted in the demise of legible handwriting—and illegible writing can make grading more time-consuming and less objective.  “I want my exams to assess students’ interaction with the material, not their handwriting,” says David Eastman, Assistant Professor of Religion.

Using Extegrity Exam4, “has saved significant time and aggravation,” Eastman says. “Being unable to be read a student’s handwriting slows down the grading process and admittedly may impact how I assess their work. If I have to struggle to figure out what students are saying, I maybe less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. Having them type their answers levels the playing field in this regard.”


Michael Flamm, Professor of History, concurs. “I like knowing that I have given the students a fair opportunity to do their best work. Exam4 also has enabled me to write better comments more quickly and turn exams into more of a learning experience for students. I appreciate having the ability to keep the exams so that later I can directly compare student performance on midterms and finals.”


Students love the software, too, Flamm says. “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. After using the program, not a single student has indicated that he or she would prefer to return to blue books. Some have, but only because of personal computer issues.”


Eastman’s students agree. “In one class, I used it for the midterm and then gave students a choice of using it again or handwriting for the final,” he says. “Of the 20 students, 19 chose the software.


Both Flamm and Eastman recommend getting students prepared to use the program by having them participate in a lab. “I did my best to ensure that using the program did not add more stress to the test-taking experience,” Eastman said, “and discussing the format early helps significantly. Students can even take a practice test to get used to the program, and I would highly recommend it.”

To learn more about how Exam2 can enhance your testing contact David Soliday.

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