​Positive survey responses about remote exams despite short notice

At very short notice Chalmers had to reschedule the LP3 exams to be done remotely. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, many students say they are satisfied with the way Chalmers handled the situation. This is shown in the survey answered by students after all the study period 3 exams were done. Lack of foresight, too difficult, increased risks for cheating – those were some other opinions which were revealed.

“To reschedule the exams in study period 3 at such short notice was a major challenge for teachers, examiners, and students too,” says Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson, Vice-President of Education and Lifelong Learning. “The survey responses really reflect that. There are useful lessons here for upcoming exam periods. At the same time, it is gratifying that the students have been positive overall about how we handled such an extraordinary situation together.”

The survey showed that many were satisfied with the way the exams have been carried out. Teachers, examiners and the administration are all commended for their ability to adapt very fast so the exams could be conducted. Approximately 50 percent of the respondents give high grades on the question: “Based on the given conditions (spread of Covid-19) – how do you evaluate your overall experience of the remote exam?” Also, the chance to conduct the exam at all is valued higher than the need for anonymity. The students appreciated the fact that Chalmers managed to conduct the exams for LP3 so that the students were able to be examined.

The answers reveal some concerns among students regarding both the exams and the situation in society generally. Several thought it was too easy to cheat, and that it was unfair that they worked on their exam individually, while knowing that others were sitting in a group. Some felt it was impossible to prevent cheating altogether and therefore thought that the only way to handle the matter would be to allow cooperation or alternatively cancel the exams. One suggested random examinations to make them more individual. Most comments concern the time allowed to conduct the exam and how the exams would be carried out.

Too little time

Many of the optional text comments also stated that the time allowed for completion was not enough, given the difficulty of the exam. Several exams were perceived to have been more difficult, with more questions and more text and analysis required. Several students felt that they did not have enough time to answer all the questions or give sufficiently detailed answers.

Lack of clarity on how the exams would be carried out

The students wanted more, and clearer, information ahead of the exams regarding how they would be carried out and what would be expected. For example, what kind of questions (quiz, essay questions, calculations or similar) and what format. They wished for examples, for information about differences between the old and new format, and information about what degree of difficulty they should expect. The students often have two exams and had to spend a lot of time understanding the different requirements for submitting different exams. 

Information about upcoming exams

It has now been decided that the exams in study period 4 and the June re-exams will be carried out remotely. Read more about what applies to these exams at chalmers.se/info

Chalmers has continuously collected experiences from students, teachers and examiners during the period of distance studies and distance exams in order to be able to evaluate and improve for everyone. Among other things, by creating common instructions and working methods where possible. 

Instructions on how exactly your exam will be designed and what applies to it will be found in the course room in Canvas. Contact the examiner for more information or questions. 

For students who want to discuss and give tips and advice to each other about distance studies, a special canvas room has now been set up, Studying online: https://chalmers.instructure.com/courses/10004​

Published: Tue 12 May 2020.