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Invigilated final exams: An outdated or a proper testing scheme for tertiary education?

In the past few years, the global higher education system has witnessed significant changes and transformation such as changes in the teaching mode, curriculum design, assessment pattern, financing and governance patterns, evaluation and accreditation mechanisms, etc. With this evolution, the practice of invigilated final examination is becoming a questionable practice. Studies conducted in the literature show that the invigilated exam is a least efficient way of assessing deep conceptual understanding of students. Rather, it is considered as a process of overstuffing the student’s brain with the unit content in the night before the exam day, and dumping that stuff in the exam booklet on the exam day, with very little knowledge retention afterwards. In the defence of keeping final exam, people may argue that invigilated final examinations are inevitable way of preventing students from cheating. However, final exams can be replaced with comprehensive final assessment items in such a way that the scope for cheating/plagiarism can be minimised. These alternative assessments have proven to be more effective in engaging the student in learning. In this presentation, we present some arguments for and against the practice of having closed book invigilated final exams in tertiary education. Our argument will be supported by practical evidence taken from some ICT units coordinated and taught by the authors at Central Queensland University, Australia.


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CQUniversity, Australia

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